Sankofa’s Bookcase

I read the mis-education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson ( written in 1933) and at the conclusion of it, decided I want to be not just an educator, but a re-educator. Read on to find out why and please share your own thoughts.
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The experiences and achievements, or lack thereof, of African American students have been studied and researched extensively, to little or no avail. Most modern discussions involving their plight totally disregard the failure of the education system to “present authentic Negro History in schools… and distortions of the facts concerning [it]. (Woodson 5) In The Miseducation of the Negro, Carter G. Woodson argues his own theory on the underlying issue African American students are facing.

Woodson begins by asserting that the Negro race is only studied as a problem. Thus, the notion of inferiority is rooted early in a child. This in turn can leave a child hopeless. Resultantly, many young African Americans have resorted to lives of crime. Having no real knowledge of the contributions their ancestors have made in America, they have no positive foundation, no self-assurance.
Even after obtaining an education in America, a black man is only equipped to live the life of an Americanized or Europeanized white man with little to no regard with the progression of his own people. This is the goal of the system.

Woodson focuses on the “educated negroes” and their assimilations. He believes the majority of them reach a point of haughtiness with no sympathy for the turmoil their people undergo daily. He blames the system also, for this callousness.Furthermore, Woodson contends that many educators believe that education is merely the imparting of information when indeed, “real education means to inspire people to live more abundantly, to learn to begin with life as they find it and make it better” (Woodson 28). However, because the education of Negro children are in the hands of the same power who once enslaved and segregated their ancestors, this has led to a loss of vision for black people. They have no real aspirations. Instead, they become subservient, accepting their inferior status.

Also, in the economic world, the miseducation has effected African Americans mostly, in that there is no real trust amongst them. They have been taught that black people cannot handle business affairs appropriately. Some, due to envy, are afraid of another African American advancing or prospering more than themselves and being recognized accordingly, so they refuse to offer support. There is also the refusal of African americans to work under someone of their own race because the notion has been taught and engraved in them that their whole race is good for nothing, thus one should not be in subjection to the either. This keeps the race as a whole on a lower level.

Another issue the African American race faces that Woodson explores is the desire of the majority to be leaders, rather than servants. He emphasizes a need for humility amongst the race, using the words, “whosoever is greatest among you, let him be your servant” (Woodson 69). He also promotes for higher strivings for the race in the political world saying they should become figures amongst it and not tools used by it. One must resolve to try to give the world something, rather than take all that he/she can from it. He reasons that those who do not learn to do for themselves rely on other for their welfare, and that contributes to the situation African Americans are in today. ​

Woodson believed that if you teach Negro children that he or she and their people have accomplished as much good as any other race, he or she will aspire to equality and justice without any regard to race. In order to gain confidence in himself and his race, he or she should approach his or her past scientifically and eventually be able to give his or her own story to the world. He emphasized the importance of education teaching a person to learn to think for himself. He believed this to be the only true way to elevate the African American race.

First he contends that the Negro man or woman should become angry with themselves. It will do him no good to point all blame to his oppressors. The oppressor’s very goal is to make the Negro man and woman forget that they were once a slave who was blatantly oppressed. Instead, they justify the past oppression they have inflicted upon African Americans.

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This book proved to be an eye opening insight into the current situation in our schools today, although written some 80 years ago. It effectively showed that the lack of attention given to authentic African American history in America weakens the confidence built in students of color who grow up with no real knowledge of their contribution to history, or place in the present. In agreement with Woodson’s theory on reform, until African American culture and history is promoted in the school systems, and a real connection is made between their past and current state, African American students will continue to not push themselves as much as they should or hold themselves to a higher standard.

Most appreciative is Woodson’s call to actions. He tells of the need to thoroughly examine the fundamentals of education, religion, literature, and philosophy as they have been expounded to African Americans. Having done this, with a full understanding, the Negro man and woman must approach such information with vision and “exercise foresight rather than hindsight” (Woodson 95).

There needs to be a more holistic approach taken to education if there is to ever come about true reform. Woodson also effectively explains that African American children are experiencing an oppression that is both systemized and structured, and that will not undue itself. Yet, they are not taught or equipped to make a better lives for themselves, thus the miseducation of the Negro. Everyone should read this book, especially those directly involved in the education of Negro children.

Sankofa Byrd

@ISSARAE Started from the Bottom of YouTube now She’s there *Points North*

Instagram evidence.. BOOM!

Where is there, you ask?
Up on HBO… (and let every awkward black girl scream: What??!!!!) Yes, Girlas!!! Issa done did it now. LOL

Instagram and the internet confirms (lol yes, that’s the new news, act like you know) that Issa is teaming up with Larry Wilmore to produce an HBO comedy series centered around all things Issa; black, awkward and a girl.
Gone are the days of emailing and calling your girlfriends to find out which day on eastern standard time or Cali clocks you were tuning in to see the next episode of ABG. Issa has been making ground breaking moves; starting with securing a network transition of the ABG series over to Pharrell Williams’ channel: I AM OTHER. She even landed a deal with Shonda [Shonda Rhimes] on ABC, she appeared on MSNBC,  the cover of Essence Mag and inside of Rolling Stone, Forbes and countless other publications.

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If you’re and avid fan of Issa and her antics you know just how big this is for not only her but every black or brown girl or guy with an ounce of quirkiness in them. Issa took our unforgiving thoughts and social missteps and parlayed it into a masterpiece of comic proportions. Giving us classic characters like her “bestie before testies” CeCe, her arch nemesis Nina and who can forget that baby ass voice *bleep* Darius LOL.  Issa’s ingenuity has afforded every brown skin girl another pass to be unapologetically brilliant and most importantly … Awkward. She’s a shining example of what a lot of creativity and courage can produce.  Excited to have a piece of comic relief that overshadows the stereotype of the angry, black, woman. After all, ‘bitches be trippin’ off jokes, too. LOL

Salute to Issa Rae and may her brand live long and prosper. Let’s take it back to where it all began:

[Exclusive] SWL Lipstick Launch Party

On last Wednesday, July 17th our founder Carleta Fearon attended an exclusive Super Woman Lifestyle event. The event was held at Ozio’s rooftop lounge in downtown Washington, DC. The evening was hosted by noted entrepreneur and business coach Vicki Irvin. The SWL brand debuted a new product line of lipsticks targeted at modern career women and young female entrepreneurs.

Vicki Irvin has led the way in real estate investment, business coaching and internet marketing for the last few years. She has created a brand based upon uplifting and inspiring women entrepreneurs in and throughout the DC metro area. With various features in prestigious media outlets such as essence magazine her brand has been able to reach individuals across all states. Through her business mantra of beauty, business, and balance Mrs. Irvin continues to use her influence to help every woman break free from the status quo.

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At the event guests were greeted by stunning local models from all around the DMV area, each of the models wore one of the signature SWL lipstick colors. Each color had a powerful name all reflective of the Super Woman Lifestyle.

Some of the colors featured at the event include: sexy, exude, simply me, attitude, gorgeous and boss lady.

To view the full collection visit http://www.swlcollection.com/

Carleta also had a chance to get a quick interview with Vicki and ask about what inspired her to create the SWL line of lipstick. (Listen Below)

The ‘Natural Hair’ revival has made its way to the DMV

For decades, African-Americans (and other races) have struggled with the unanswered questions and frustration of managing their natural textured tresses. From the days of hot combs and texturizers to modern Dominican blow outs and harsh chemical relaxers the challenge of taming the curl has been something sought after by many people. In the past 6 or 7 years there has been a growing desire for many African-Americans in becoming more conscious and self-aware. The beauty that blossomed from that is the push to learn how to take better care and maintain basic beauty and health regimens in organic and holistic manners. Out of that birthed what many know as the “Natural Hair movement” or what we refer to it as the “Natural Hair revival.” Spreading  across the US, in major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Houston and Atlanta, natural hair enthusiasts have been popping up all over the place. Coincidentally, it is certainly nice to see that the natural hair revival has made its way back into the nations capital..

Just about every where you go now you can see aisles and shelves of hair care products lined in stores dedicated to helping grow, enhance or straighten natural hair. Now the importance of having these products is good but knowing how to use them is the real challenge. However not to worry there are certified brave souls (natural hair bloggers/vloggers) that are kind enough to test out these products and provide a review. That however can be tricky but to take it a step further there are certified natural hair stylists, yes we said it, stylists that specialize in treating your kinky, coiled, and curly tresses. What a beautiful thing to have options!

Speaking of options it is nice to see more people taking note to the importance of hair and health education for people of color who choose to wear their hair in its natural state. The District’s Natural hair community is budding, with tons of different natural hair shows, expos, and events popping up; it is easily becoming a black woman’s [and man’s] dream. Being born with kinky, coiled, or even curly hair doesn’t come with an instruction manual so it’s comforting to know that many people are committed to writing up that Draft.

Current Vibes: Love Hate Thing

DMV’s own Wale is at it again giving off what some might classify as a hip-hip love ballad. LOL nah we’re playing. But he certainly is serving us major rhythm and blues on the track featuring Sam Dew. We see and feel young Folarin’s plight. As seen countless times there’s an adverse reaction to artist that have “made it” out the city. There seems to be no love found when one returns from the quest for success. But that’s fame for you. Over here we’re still rocking with Wale and it’s nice to see a little BOA love from his tour mate, Black Cobain. We respect the movement and support the DMV’s own.

Living HERstory: Carla Renée

Here at Street Intell we like to spotlight people doing extraordinary things in and around the DMV area. We want to encourage you all to support Mademoiselle Phenomenal as she makes her way to the big screen. She has a tremendous story of overcoming and conquering cancer 3 times and it is refreshing to see how she has made it to this point. Join us as we help her and the rest of the cast members celebrate the release of Carlos Roman’s Sci-fi action thriller, Signals 2. Click the image below to connect with Carla Renée.

Carla Renée

Air force veteran, entrepreneur, teacher, performance poet and actress; a true renaissance woman.

We will see you all this Saturday at the Movie Premiere. Line for tickets forms at 9:30 and the film viewing is at 10:00 am.