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by Ytzhak Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Ok ladies and gentlemen its "BLACK HISTORY" month, how appropriate for my first blog of the New Year. I initially began writing something "inspirational" you know some journalistic libations for the noble ancestors upon whose shoulders we as a people, nation and individuals now stand. But sadly, that train of thought was derailed by a BBC article that came via the mighty Mundah and the Real News Network. The article entitled "Canada Afrocentric School Sparks Debate" served as a confirmation of my position that "We [black folk] just don't get it?"


by wise intellegent




History is a clock that people use to tell their political time of
day. It is a compass that they use to find themselves on the map of
human geography. It also tells them where they are, and what they are.
Most importantly, an understanding of history tells a people where
they still must go, and what they still must be.

Dr. John Henrik Clarke (from his 1987 essay Why Africana History?)

Ok ladies and gentlemen its "BLACK HISTORY" month, how appropriate for
my first blog of the New Year. I initially began writing something
"inspirational" you know some journalistic libations for the noble
ancestors upon whose shoulders we as a people, nation and individuals
now stand. But sadly, that train of thought was derailed by a BBC
article that came via the mighty Mundah and the Real News Network. The
article entitled "Canada Afrocentric School Sparks Debate" served as a
confirmation of my position that "We [black folk] just don't get it?"

The first paragraph of the article gets right to the point and focus
of the article saying that "A decision to create the first
Afrocentric, or black-focused school funded by taxpayers in Canada's
biggest city has sparked a heated debate."

Why should, or how could an African Centered school "spark heated
debate" in a society of the "western world" where grandiose ideals
like "diversity", "inclusion", "tolerance", "pluralism",
"multi-cultural" and "melting-pot" roll off the tongues of western
world citizens like stanzas from a Shakespearian play? I mean the
current public school system (which is also funded by taxpayers money)
is extremely Eurocentric or white-focused even when 90% of the
children in attendance are non-white? So the first question that comes
to my mind is that if it's okay to use "taxpayers" money to fund a
Eurocentric public school curriculum, then why should it "spark heated
debate" to create an Afrocentric one in an African Centered School?

I believe I can say without too much rebuttal that the over whelming
majority of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native citizens of Canada
and America pay taxes with the same pleasant irritation as European or
White American/Canadians do, and I'm quite sure that they have earned
and deserve the right to have an educational system that is reflective
of their ethnic and cultural contributions to the nation in which they
live. Why does the idea of an all-inclusive or should I say more
simply an honest and balanced view of history create such negative
feedback and adult angst?

I believe that if you're teaching history
Deal with straight up facts no mystery
Teach the student what needs to be taught
Cause Black and White kids both take shorts
When one doesn't know about the other ones' culture
Ignorance swoops down like a vulture…

KRS ONE… "You Must Learn"

So now that the "can of worms" has been opened, we can see that the
western worlds non-white citizens have been paying taxes to help fund
the current predominantly Eurocentric or white-focused schools
throughout the entire western world to their own detriment. The
article goes on to say that the "scheme" yes, the "scheme" (read plot)
was approved at a packed meeting of the Toronto District School Board.

From kindergarten to the western university taxpaying non-white
students are bombarded with overtly racist ideas, myths, falsities,
omissions and all sorts of gross misinformation that comprise the
legendary lying lore that western "mis-education" is fashioned of.
This is why Noam Chomsky said that "education is a system of imposed
ignorance". I mean truth be told Pythagoras had no original patent to
the concept of a "theorem." The square root of the hypotenuse was used
in Egypt some two-thousand years before Pythagoras was a drop of
semen. Columbus "discovered" nothing. There were people in the "New
World" when he got here. The journals of these same Spanish explorers
confirm that West Africans had long been making the trip to the "New
World" before Columbus was a drop of semen. The Egyptians were black!
Hippocrates was NOT the "father of medicine", and the Civil War was
NOT fought to "free" the "slaves" because the North thought enslaving
human beings was wrong! Now should non-white taxpayers continue to
support and fund the perpetuation of the Eurocentic legendary lying

Considering the above, we must honestly ask and answer the question of
what's wrong with a public school in the west wherein the curriculum
aim to use "the sources, knowledge and experiences of peoples of
African descent as an integral feature of the teaching and learning

With a drop out rate among young black males as high as 40%, it is
obvious that the current system is not working for a very high
percentage of young black people. Why then is the people's attempt to
implement a solution that has been proven to work (as evidenced by
privately funded CIBI schools in the U.S.) met with such visceral
public resistance from the custodians of the legendary lying lore?

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to
those who prepare for it today"

Malcolm X

Take the statement from Anthony Hutchinson for example, an economist
and former university professor who the article says "has been
involved in a number of youth outreach and employment programs." The
article quotes Mr. Hutchinson saying "This belief that if we teach
kids about their social and cultural identity they're going to perform
a lot better is just stupid." Now how can teaching people the history
of themselves (good and bad) be "stupid"?

The above quote is disturbing and interesting because the same
individual previously states in the same article that he "blames the
school system for marginalizing students." To marginalize someone
means to make them feel unimportant and unnecessary. To lay blame for
this marginalizing of black students at the foot of the school system
you must know that the school is responsible for making black youth
feel like they are nothing. How does the school marginalize black
youth? It tells them they had no history before slavery at the hands
of Euro-Americans. It teaches them that their culture is "primitive"
or "third world". It severs Egypt (and recently Ethiopia) from Africa
and made them and their marvelous accomplishments apart of a fictional
land mass called "the middle" or "near" east. The current Euro-centric
or white-focused system teaches the black child that slavery was a
blessing and forever repudiates the black world as being of no value!

The only way to reverse the lying lore of the Euro-centric or
white-focused system is to establish a system that deals with the
truth concerning the people that have been oppressed and exploited to
no end. This must been done even if it means the establishment of a
counter Euro-centric or white-focused, African-centered or
black-focused school. When does Africa get to tell its side of the
story? When does the Native American get to tell his story? When do
ALL non-white people get to tell their story? Why have we accepted the
exploiters version of the story (his-story) as the only story? I don't
see any of these custodians of the legendary lying lore pointing out
the undeniable fact that the current school systems of the west are
Euro-centric and white-focused in their curriculum.

"what you're calling Negro history, and

African history is the missing pages of world history."

Arthur Schomburg speaking to Dr. John Henrik Clarke

Next the professor states that an African centered school is
"counter-intuitive and counter-productive" arguing further that
"You're going to take public money from the public school system to
channel towards a special interest imperative. This is a slippery
slope that we do not want to go down." If you really want to start
talking about what has been "Counter-productive" we can deal directly
with the current Euro-centric system to the tune of a 40% black male
drop out rate? This is not a matter of "taking public money from the
public school system" it's a matter of scraping the singularly
Euro-centric and white-focused public school curriculum and replacing
it with one that reflects and includes a more honest and complete
historical perspectives of all of its students. Furthermore, is the
current public school agenda not a "special interest imperative?" Are
not black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American/Canadian students a
"special interest" of the current system? I guess not. That being
said, the reality of the built-in failure mechanism for black and
other non-white youth in the western world public school system is
crystal clear.

But how about the statement from the city's influential newspaper, The
Toronto Star, who said that the idea of an African-centered school
"smacked of segregation, which is contrary to the values of the school
system and Canadian society as a whole". If 90% of the student body in
the poorest schools are predominantly black, but 90% of the student
body in the wealthiest schools are predominantly white…YOU ARE ALREADY
SEGREGATED!!! What kind of a pathological flight from reality must one
be suffering from not to see this?

Furthermore, how is it segregation when children of ANY RACE,
ethnicity or cultural background can attend? No one has said white
kids can not attend the African-centered or black focused schools.
Segregation was predicated on the idea that blacks could not attend
the same schools as their white counterparts. This is not the case
with the African-centered school. My son attended the Afrikan Peoples
Action School (APAS) in Trenton, NJ for his entire elementary school
experience. In such an institution ALL CHILDREN are welcome, but in
this dynamic it is pointed out that George Washington cut down the
cherry tree and crossed the Delaware but it is also conveyed that he
was a slave-trader that owned over 300 slaves, reportedly raped black
women and sold a Blackman for a jar of molasses. This is the TRUTH!
This is real and complete EDUCATION, and not legendary, lying lore!

There can be no greater tragedy than to forget one's origin and finish
despised and hated by the people among whom one grew up. To have that
happen would be the sort of thing to make me rise up from my grave.

Paul Robeson, 1938

Next the article lauds the mother that lost her 15 year old son to gun
violence when she said the following in opposition to the
African-centered school "Martin Luther King and so many of our fathers
fought to come together so black and white can be together, for us to
sit in the front of the bus together. What we're doing is all
segregating each other. We should be one…" Again this in NOT about
segregating each other, it's about creating a true and accurate
historical educational system that ALL people can participate in and
benefit from. Now let's get to the reality of segregation in 2008. At
what point will we realize that America and the west are as segregated
as it's ever been? When you get on the bus in your hood how many white
people do you see sitting next to you (front or back)? When you gaze
across the street, up and down your block how many white faces do you
see? When you look around your classroom in your inner-city public
school how many white faces do you see? Few and far in between I'm

Martin Luther King and our fathers who fought with him set out to
accomplish a great work…changing the hearts, minds and attitudes of
Americas white majority…unfortunately the only thing that changed were
"paper-precepts" i.e., laws, while the hearts, minds and attitudes of
the white majority remained exactly the same as they were when Martin
Luther King lie bleeding from the neck on a Memphis motel balcony. In
the late fourth quarter of the Civil Rights initiative Martin left us
what was in my opinion, his most valuable lesson. This lesson came in
the form of a premonition of sorts and was conveyed to his close
friend, confidant and brother Harry Belafonte. The message was
"Brother Harry…I believe we are integrating into a burning house…"

To the good people of Toronto Canada who have set out to accomplish a
great work…changing the hearts, minds, and attitudes of black youth…in
the spirit of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington,
Maria Stewart, Frederick Douglass, Kwame Nkrumah, and all the
many…OPEN THAT SCHOOL…By Any Means Necessary!!! At least Black History
will then be for an entire school year!

… "A final reason for the African centered curriculum is the nature of
the population composition in the United States. This country is
composed of a variety of ethnic and racial groups. As such the country
should properly be conceived of as the United States of various
ethnic, national and racial groups. The Eurocentric curriculum, more
or less, serves the cultural interest of most European ethnic groups.
It does not serve the cultural interest of most people of African
descent. Since population patterns are such that most African
Americans live in predominantly African American communities and
attend predominantly African American schools, it is logical that they
should be taught from an African perspective if they so choose…"

Jacob H. Curruthers…. Essay on African Centered Education

Just a little bit more of tax payer Public School history on my way
out the door…

It was Georg Wilhelm Hegel who, in order to lend credence to his
ignorant assumption that Africa "has no history", proposed that Egypt
be severed from the continent and made a part of a pseudo-geographic
land mass called the "Near East." Hegel knew that Egypt was a black
African civilization and that the certain Africans were the Egyptians,
but this fact did not support his racist supposition that Africa had
no history, so he had to take Egypt out of Africa. But, Hegel did not
stop there. To explain the great civilizations of Carthage, Tunis,
Cyrenica, etc., Hegel proposed that "North Africa" be considered a
part of Europe ascribing it the appellation "European Africa." The
falsities, ideas, and assumptions of the racist George Wilhelm Hegel,
are the very same ideas that shaped and developed the American
Educational System. This is not good for black people in general, let
alone our children.

Although the German Hegel did not contribute directly to the American
System of education himself, it was rather through his "Hegelian"
students (as they were called) William Torrey Harris, Horace Mann and
John Dewey that his ideas were laid at the foundation of American
education. In The Origins of American Philosophy of Education, J.J.
Chambliss states that William Torrey Harris was the "central figure in
rationalism's influence on American philosophy of education"
(Chambliss). In Public Schools and Moral Education, Neil G. McCluskey
informs us that the "consensus among historians of education and
students of social thought clearly indicates that Horace Mann, William
Torrey Harris, and John Dewey can be considered the triumvirate whose
thought has most affected the creation and development of the present
philosophy of the American public school" (McCluskey).

Neil McClusky informs us that "the roots of Harris's work in the
American educational system were firmly planted in Hegelian
principles." The following definition of "Hegelian" principles shows
us how Hegel's students believed that all power to control the
individual should be held by the institution. "To the American
Hegelians, education was an effective tool for developing the
individual mind to promote "self-activity," or to cultivate the mind
to a point at which every individual became entirely aware of his
position as a subject in the complex interactions of reality. As
Harris put it: " is the process through which the
individual is led to attain his freedom" (Harris, Twentieth Annual
Report). Although the ultimate goal of Hegelian education is freedom
of the individual, "freedom" in the Hegelian context denotes a
dependence on the influence of institutions. Institutions, as the
embodiment of man's rational behavior and thought, are the ultimate
tool of freedom."

For more on the Hegelian school of thought:

Book List

Boone, Richard G. ed. by William T. Harris. Education in the United
States. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1903.

Brackett, Anna C. "The Science of Education," Journal of Speculative
Philosophy, December 1878.

Chambliss, J.J. The Origins of American Philosophy of Education. The
Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1960.

Harris, William Torrey. "The Education of the Family, and the
Education of the School," Journal of the American Social Science
Association. XV, February 1882.

Harris, William Torrey. "The Church, the State, and the School," North
American Review. CXXXIII, September 1881.

Harris, William Torrey. Twentieth Annual Report to the Board of
Directors of the Saint Louis Public Schools for the Year Ending August
1, 1894

Harris, "The History and Philosophy of Education," The Chautauquan
III, October 1882.

McCluskey, Neil Gerard. Public Schools and Moral Education. New York:
Columbia Univ. Press, 1958.

Schaub, ed., William Torrey Harris, 1835-1935. Unknown publisher, date.







It's NO LONGER Smart to be DUMB!

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