The Great Debaters

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Alicea Terry
Speech 102
Professor Saunders
The Great Debaters: Thesis Paper
Due: July 22nd 2008

The Miss Education of the African –American: Past, Present, and Future

From the beginning, Whites’ in America have exploited Negros’. “Upon landing in Africa, White Americans were welcomed and given a feast (James W. Loewen)”. Whites Americans played on the greed of tribal chiefs’ Africans traded their own people into slavery for goods. When the true nature of the White American was realized it was too late to stop them. Slavery had afforded White America with free labor as well as a new source of economy. White Americans’ kept coming back they stole Native Africans’ from their homes and shipped them to a new land in which they called the New World the “Americas”. Africans were marched naked thru the streets to what was known as the “market” where they were put on auction blocks and sold to the highest bidder. Slave traders broke up families, thereby breaking down the family structure. Africans were no longer permitted to speak their own language nor were they to speak of the past so thereby the Africans that were enslaved by slave traders eventually lost their heritage and their identities. They became common “chattel” to White America. Slaves were not permitted to read or write. Slave owners believed that a “Dumb nigger is a peaceful nigger” (Fredrick Douglas).

Slave owners denied slaves the right to read and write. They kept slaves ignorant. Slave owners knew that learning brings knowledge and knowledge breeds power. On August 6th 1861 slaves were declared “contraband of war”, and if found to be contraband, they were declared free. During the Civil War schools were organized to teach the newly freed men, women, and children to read and write thus starting an education process of thousands of Negro’s. January 1st 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that declared all slaves within the confederacy were...
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