The Mis-Education of the Negro
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The Mis-Education of the Negro

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  3,013 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Originally released in 1933, The Mis-Education of the Negro continues to resonate today, raising questions that readers are still trying to answer. The impact of slavery on the Black psyche is explored and questions are raised about our education system, such as what and who African Americans are educated for, the difference between education and training, and which of the
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Published (first published 1933)
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Joi Reece
As I contemplate the state of today’s black adolescents, rereading this piece of literature provided a new perspective on the present condition of African-Americans. This book is more than a piece of literary history; it is the lens with which we should use to reevaluate our education, our family and our commitment to building a helping system.

What I loved most about this book is how it illustrates the power of education and knowledge. It explains how an improper education can make people unfit...more
Trae Brookins
Jul 17, 2013 Trae Brookins rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jed Koball
Shelves: history, philosophy
A great historical document and extremely important to those in education who are concerned with racial injustice. A powerful read--unfortunately, so many of his observations regarding white hegemony and the systematic subjugation of African Americans remain true today. Woodson is clear is his critique and makes so many excellent points that I was highlighting a sentence almost every other page. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in human rights, social justice, racial equality a...more
Ty'ronn Spriggs
I want to read this book so badly. I have read a couple of excerpt from the book, but I have not read the whole thing yet. When I get this book I will tell you all about it!
Michael Strode
"The Negro, whether in Africa or America, must be directed toward a serious examination of the fundamentals of education, religion, literature, and philosophy as they have been expounded to him. He must be sufficiently enlightened to determine for himself whether these forces have come into his life to bless him or bless his oppressor. After learning the facts in the case the Negro must develop the power of execution to deal with these matters as do people of vision." ~ Carter G. Woodson

Carter G...more
Daya Washington
This is the kind of book you will need to read and hear over and over again to grasp all that is being said. Every word is purposeful and every concept perfectly complex and all wrapped up in a challenging bow for the educated African American female (especially). The insight in this book dismantles all that I thought education would be at an HBCU. I wish this was required reading at my high school or even my community college before I transferred to one. An EPIC read for African American commun...more
Chris brown
It is amazing that after almost 75 years this book remains at the forefront of forward thinking. More than just a book, it is a manual; blue print rather for the uplifting and enlightening of a people without the common stowaway of blaming “the-man” as the father, author, creator, and personified of every woe upon the African American people. More amazing yet is that after 75 years the content and thermos of the book remain sound and accurate. The years may have passed but the spirit in which th...more
Excellent book! Every African American needs to read this book in order to understand how we've been so brainwashed to hate ourselves.
This book is relevant, even into today's time. Although it was written in the early 1900s, the analysis can be applied to today's situations. I read this book at the beginning of each new school year.
Micah Smurthwaite
The father of Black History Month, Woodson started Black History Week in 1926. A newly freed slave should receive education, but what is the utility of a liberal education ? Liber is latin for free; the education available to every free man. It is also the education to free your mind. Philosophy, science, history, and the humanities (which are called such because they are what differentiates us as human and the study of humanizes us).

However, how useful is a man's knowledge of Plato in an agricu...more
"The mere imparting of information is not education." (Ch. 1)

The Mis-Education of the Negro is a powerful glimpse into the state of the Negro in the Early 20th Century as analyzed by noted African-American historian and scholar, Carter G. Woodson. Throughout Mis-Education, Woodson addresses several key points:

How the Negro ended up in his predicament:
Woodson explains that the traducers of the race, those who oppress the Negro through propaganda and mis-education, " teaching [the Negro] that...more
"To handicap a student by teaching him that his black face is a curse and that his struggle to change his condition is hopeless is the worst sort of lynching. It kills ones aspirations and dooms them to vagabondage and crime. It is strange, then, that the friends of truth and the promoters of freedom have not risen up against the present propaganda in the schools and crushed it. This crusade is much more important than the anti-lynching movement, because there would be no lynching if it did not...more
Well I have had this book for almost a decade collecting dust on my shelf, just kept getting passed over for other seemingly more relevant texts that came across my desk.

Can't say it was "worth the wait", it is not bad, but not earth shattering either. Even for it's time, I imagine much of it must have seemed like a reiteration of WEB DuBois's Souls of Black Folks, in fact Woodson's whole chapter on the state of teachers was a pallid reconstruction of a much more poetic DuBois version.

Now to be...more
Jul 20, 2008 Tama rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tama by: Rosemary Traore
Shelves: urban-ed
I felt a great deal of conflict coming from Woodson as I read this book. He seems to be a great observer of the Negro people. He has provided depth and perspective in his writing. Yet it seemed that for every concept he approached, he consistently countered his own initial point of view. As an example, I was intrigued by his discussion of an educated and uneducated minister. The educated minister understands (and can read) the established teachings, but the uneducated minister understands the pe...more
I know. I know. This is a classic that should be read by all black people everywhere. I have no real qualms about the content but there were just so few "ah-ha moments" that I was a little underwhelmed. To Woodson's credit, I'm sure that has more to do with the impact this book has had on black culture and education since it's publication. Many black people and institutions have taken Woodson's admonishments to heart and made positive changes. There are some areas pointed out in this book that s...more
I am rating this book based on its relevance today, which is amazing considering it was written in 1933. One would expect that very little of Woodson's writing on race relations would still be useful 80 years later, but it is amazingly inspiring and thought-provoking to read. His clear explanations of the failure of our educational system made me want to go out and run for the Board of Education, and write a new history textbook. I took away a star because about 20% of what he describes isn't at...more
I was about 3/4's of the way through this book before I realized I was mis-reading it, or not reading it in the proper frame of mind. Finished it, then went back and re-read the whole thing. This is a definitive study of oppression. Without minimizing the historical reality which this book describes, this book breaks down how our oligarchy consolidated it's power and culturally conditioned the rest of us to accept inequality; how social issues lead us to vote against our economic interests; how...more
A'Tru Dreamx
This was an excellent analysis of the state of black American culture. It was inspiring, as well as a saddening truth. Despite being written in 1930 it reflects current trends. I was disturb to find that as a race African Americans have not made significant gains since the time of Mr. Woodson. Hopefully, his warnings, suggestions, and ideas will be revisited by the new generation to make a positive change.
While this book was not a page-turner for me and took a lot of concentration and re-reading, I feel it is a must-read for all educators. There are so many gems of wisdom that I know I will keep in mind for the rest of my career. I will have to re-read and reflect on my practice with Woodson's philosophies always. Written in the 1930's, this book is so relevant today.
I just finished reading

The Mis-Education of the Negro
and it is a truly great book, a good read for
people of all races to better understand the history of and progress of African
Americans in this country.
Shannette Slaughter
This is a must read for all American Born Africans. It will remind you that the education that you've received, whether from Harvard or the streets, it is inadequate for true liberation. We must go beyond what has been provided and begin to be the providers. The truth shall set you free
A must-read for every American! A necessity for black Americans in particular!

Carter G. Woodson shines the light on what mis education means & its dangerous effects.
Writing from the depths of the Jim Crow era, Woodson argues for an education that is actually transformative for blacks and their communities. Instead of aping the fashions of whites let alone settle for white cultural institutions, Negroes should pursue the path of self reliance and self ownership. They should know themsleves and their history. (No surprise, Woodson pioneered black history as an academic enterprise and fathered what is now Black History Month"). His message is still revolutiona...more
Jamaal Haywood
Jul 26, 2007 Jamaal Haywood added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brooke Morgan
In his book, The Miseducation of the Negro, Carter G. Woodson addresses many issues that have been and are still prevalent in the African American community. Woodson believed that while receiving education, blacks lost sight of their original reasons for becoming educated. He believed that many blacks became educated only to "copy" to white culture and attempt to become successful under white standards, instead of investing in their communities and applying their knowledge to help other blacks....more
Joel Fernandez
Jan 18, 2014 Joel Fernandez is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
No systematic effort toward change has been possible, for, taught the same economics, history, philosophy, literature and religion which have established the present code of morals, the Negro's mind has been brought under the control of his oppressor. The problem of holding the Negro down, therefore, is easily solved. When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his "proper place" and will s...more
The book in itself is a relic you can tell by the name, but as I lay in my bed last night I realized the negro (African American) is frozen in a time warp. Here it is 2014, and a book written in 1933 is as relevant now as it's was back then. lol. A lot of the problems addressed in this book I myself have chewed on a few times. 2014 and Blacks, Negros, african Ameri... What ever we call ourselves still don't buy from one another. Sad. Good book all the same.
Angela Nelson howard
This is thought provoking with amazing relevance to today despite being written in 1935. Insight into our responsibilities to lift our own self image and circumstances as well as areas to target for community unity are clearly articulated. I would recommend this to well meaning people of ALL RACES who work as community organizers or helping professions in order to more accurately treat the source of the problem rather than just the symptoms.
Brittany Sanford
Wow. I really have a lot to say about this book and it's going to take me a moment to write everything down properly.

Just a few remarks until my final review:
I felt like I was in school as I was reading this book. I say that because I took a lot of notes.

I purchased this book about seven years ago. I barely started it and I never finished it. I finally got around to reading it. I really enjoyed it. I enjoying reading material that makes me think.

I definitely think it's worth the read whether o
Eye opening

Excellent book which strikes upon key points in the lacking educational system set up for blacks and how this indoctrination has had far reaching effects felt til this day. not so much as socioeconomically which no one would argue but in how we treat and see ourselves which is really what holds us back with virtually no outside effort. great read
Antonio Jenkins
Amazing how this was published in 1933 and I can cite it as a reference for any report, article, book, or study on today's K-12 and higher education system.
Chilling how things have not changed much, in education and community.
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book review 5 55 Dec 16, 2013 02:09AM  
African American ...: What are you thoughts on this book? 1 11 Nov 29, 2012 09:06AM  
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President of Associated Publishers, Inc. Founder and editor of the Journal of Negro History, 1916, and the Negro History Bulletin, 1937.
More about Carter G. Woodson...
The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 The MIS-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson and the Willie Lynch Letter by Willie Lynch The Negro in Our History (1922) A Century of Negro Migration from the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History The History Of The Negro Church

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“If you can control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.” 89 likes
“History shows that it does not matter who is in power or what revolutionary forces take over the government, those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they had in the beginning.” 61 likes
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