We’re still living in a world that has not surpassed its color lines. The quest to eliminate inequality and racism has led to a national conversation regarding our community. Our history has been downplayed and erased from the curriculum, while our youth has little idea about how impactful and powerful our commitment to education has been throughout the centuries.
This article is a special one because it’s close to our hearts and talks about our deeply hurtful past. A past that has brought us to where we are today and that we’re still trying to come to terms with.
History can never be erased, only silenced. Now, we’re trying to break the deafening silence and bring you some facts on how real the race gap is and how it continues to impact our first-generation college students. Read on!
Once Upon a Time In the South
We’ve always placed huge importance on educating our people, even during our toughest moments in history. Dating before the Civil Rights era, our Southern ancestors were more eager than ever to reclaim equality and further enforce our generational right for black-owned education. They fought relentlessly in order to gain emancipation and break free from white people’s desire to subjugate our community through schooling.
We highly recommend that you read the book “The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935”, written by James. D. Anderson. It brings a comprehensive look at how ex-slaves tried their hardest to fight through the confusion and deception. The long-lasting shadow that white elitism has cast upon our community lingers on. The race gaps in higher education, as well as those which can be found in primary and secondary education, are explored in-depth in this historically relevant book.
Southerners will continue to be praised as pioneers for black education and fighters for a curriculum that was meant to reflect our innermost convictions, ambitions, and traditions, as people of color. Educational self-help was our way of kickstarting the universal public education system.
Thanks to our Southern ancestors, we have gained a clearer understanding of our undeniable impact as a community and how teaching our true history in schools today could help the youth understand what it was like being Black during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Black Youth’s Struggles Today
Even today, after decades of fighting against oppression, our struggle hasn’t stopped. An unsettling 2019 study showed that 29% of the Black population held a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 45% of their white peers. How come our youth is still having a hard time when it comes to their college admissions?
It’s difficult to digest this, considering the powerful history we’ve spoken about previously. However, there is an explanation. The college race gap still exists and it stems from the passing of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.
Brown v. Board of Education had tried to eliminate segregation and rightfully deem it as unconstitutional. Promoting integrated schools was also an important goal at the time. Many first-generation students became part of a schooling program that systemically refused to embrace our culture. This resulted in racial inequality by pushing the white narrative upon our people.
The invalidation of our experiences and history had made the efforts of Brown v. Board of Education go to waste, for the most part. We were never fully embraced by the schooling system and the racially segregated education stands as proof to this day. This continues to be the harsh reality that our youth has to deal with daily.
By maintaining the privileges of white students, we are robbed time and time again of our fundamental right to quality education by being expected to comply with the subservient roles that have always been given to us. It’s time to put an end to this.
The Unabridged Truth Shall Set Us Free
Have you ever heard of the Critical Race Theory? We strongly believe that this could be the gamechanger. Why? Because it addresses the reality of our society and helps us target our issues as a community much more efficiently.
CRT acknowledges that our society is built on institutionalized racism and that although slavery and segregration have been abolished, their remnants continue to affect our people.
There is an ongoing fight against CRT and we believe that this further certifies its validity in our modern-day and age. Racist incidents are not aberrations ━ they are the byproduct of centuries of systemic oppression against all people of color.
The schooling of our children needs to be taken away from the hands of all oppressors so that our youth can get through their K-12 years and learn something of value, become successful college students, and live as empowered citizens who take pride in their roots. Knowledge is power. Let’s use it wisely.
All in All…
Our youth deserves to know the truth. The truth is, we are a community of pioneers. The truth is, we might have lost years trying to battle a corrupt system but we’ve not lost our souls and morals in the process. We must stand together throughout these turbulent times and fight for our story to be told. We all want the best for our children, but are we getting to the root of the issue? The Critical Race Theory remains a staple for our community and a testament to the relentless fight for equality and true inclusiveness.
We, at The Village Method, take pride in providing spaces that are all about embracing our culture and allowing our Black youth and all those of African ancestry to find a sense of community after-school. We invite you to check out our website and see for yourself just how important it is to connect with like-minded individuals today!