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The Miseducation of the Negro

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The Miseducation of the Negro

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  • December 2006
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The Mis-Education of the Negro- Carter G. Woodson
From the beginning when the African slaves first set foot on American soil, the Negro has been perceived as an inferior race. Unfortunately, the effects from slavery still take a hold of the Negro race even today. In this novel, Carter G. Woodson attempts to thoroughly explain why exactly this has come to exist. Although written years ago, the ideals in his book are still seen to be true. Woodson's theory is that because of the way the Negro is treated by the oppressor, he has been brainwashed to believe his inferiority to other races to be the truth. This in turn keeps him from trying to advance in any shape or form because he thinks that he will step out of his place. "When you control a man's thinking you don't have to worry about his actions. He will find his "proper place" and stay in it." (Woodson, xix) Woodson believed that the oppressor starts the mis-education of the Negro in school. "The thought of the inferiority of the Negro is drilled into him in almost every class he enters and in almost every book he studies."(Woodson, 2) The author felt that this was the root of the problem. When the Negro is at school, he begins to see himself as a curse because the only references made to his race in the textbooks is one of slavery and ignorance. From learning this in school, the Negro in turn becomes discouraged and any aspirations he might have had at one time now seems impossible. Now feeling that he is worthless, he then thinks that he must do menial work or turn to a life of crime. Woodson describes this problem as the "worst sort of lynching."(Woodson 3) If everyone including the Negro themselves believes that they are inferior, then it is not seen as a problem to kill them at will or make them slaves. Woodson saw that even the Negroes with a good education had an attitude towards their own people. "Educated Negroes" being taught by the oppressor believed that it was something wrong with their race and...

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