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The Mis-Education of the Negro

4.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,162 Ratings  ·  187 Reviews
The Mis-Education of the Negro is one of the most important books on education ever written. Carter G. Woodson shows us the weakness of Euro-centric based curriculums that fail to include African American history and culture. This system mis-educates the African American student, failing to prepare them for success and to give them an adequate sense of who they are within ...more
Paperback, 215 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Communication Systems (first published 1933)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Joi Reece
Jun 10, 2012 Joi Reece rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
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
Trae Brookins
Jul 17, 2013 Trae Brookins rated it it was amazing
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A great historical document and extremely important to those in education who are concerned with racial injustice.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
Daya Washington
May 23, 2013 Daya Washington rated it really liked it
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
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
Ty'ronn Spriggs
Jun 12, 2009 Ty'ronn Spriggs marked it as to-read
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!
Cherisse
Excellent book! Every African American needs to read this book in order to understand how we've been so brainwashed to hate ourselves.
Linda
The Mis-Education of the Negro was originally published in 1933. In it, Woodson outlines what he sees as the repercussions of an ineffective Negro educational system. The book may have been shocking when it was written, but it represents mainstay thought about education, today. The book remains relevant, because even though most agree, as a community, we still have a way to go in putting many of his recommendations into practice. As a modern reader, I appreciated chapters XVII and the appendix t ...more
Micah Smurthwaite
Feb 04, 2011 Micah Smurthwaite rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-lit
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
Leslie
It wasn't what I remembered. Reading it in my youth and reading it in my - well, non youth - were definitely different experiences. Still full of truth, but thankfully some of it has become dated or I disagreed with the premise of certain points based on my own life experience. Speaking of life experience, the conclusions the author makes based on his personal encounters are often valid but limited in their own way. And sadly, much of what he wrote became dated over time and then decades later, ...more
Sheehan
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
Sarah
Dec 11, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
A'Tru Dreamx
Jul 02, 2012 A'Tru Dreamx rated it it was amazing
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.
Steven
Jun 25, 2008 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Eddie
May 27, 2013 Eddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american
"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, "...by teaching [the Negro] that
...more
Tama
Jul 20, 2008 Tama rated it really liked it  ·  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
Francis
Before i started reading this book by Carter Woodson (published in 1933), my aim was to fill in the blanks, regarding my lack of knowledge about the slave history in the 17th century. This thesis covered the main points to an extent, by addressing the harsh treatment of the slaves, the influence of religion towards their enlightenment and the constant efforts made by the abolitionists & antislavery activists, towards securing a sound education and liberty for Negroes, from the 17th to the la ...more
Justin Taylor
Mar 10, 2016 Justin Taylor rated it really liked it
This book by Carter G. Woodson takes into account the current psychological state of the "modern negro". Woodson separates the book by chapters highlighting certain deficienties the black race has grown accustom to and perpetuates. Experiences from the author and historical context support the ideologies given, and the book makes you interpret race and social constructs to disrupt barriers put in place by society. Topics include: educational regimes, religious beliefs, business expenditures, fam ...more
Mykie
This review is long overdue. I have been reading this book on a regular basis for years.
I hold great appreciation for the work Mr. Woodson put into this text. I will say that one must truly understand the following aspects before they can fully engage with the text and feel the impact of the analysis that lies within the text:

1) Mr. Woodson is analyzing the MIS-education of “the negro” and not UN-education. It is urgent that one understands this before they dive in
2) Mr. Woodson was a pivotal
...more
Daniel S
"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
Valarie
Oct 20, 2011 Valarie rated it really liked it
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
Laura
Apr 25, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is still a relevant book. Don't let the title fool you. While we don't live in as much of a restricted society as back then, there is still much racial discrimination in America and this book shows how that discrimination perpetuated since slavery during the reconstruction period. Most of the book is advice to African Americans living during that time period, it also can teach some advice towards the still continuing education gap even though upward mobility is now largely regulated by corp ...more
Maurice Gardner
May 21, 2015 Maurice Gardner rated it it was amazing
I read the Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson which to me is a great book. It is about how African Americans of his age where being culturally indoctrinated in American schools. He talks about the different things that are effecting black people and the things that they are not being taught. He thinks it cause black people to become dependent in the greater society. Instead, of being dependent by themselves.

Several topics in this book that I liked. This book gives us specific
...more
Averill
Jun 22, 2014 Averill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jared Della Rocca
When I first grabbed the book, and saw it was written in 1933 based on speeches given by the author, I thought "This will be an interesting perspective on a historic topic." But as I went through the book, not only did it provide context to many of today's issues, some of the issues remain exactly the same!

Here's one instane: the back cover states, "The thesis of Dr. Woodson's book is that African-Americans of his day were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools.
...more
Patrick
Feb 06, 2014 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
52ShadesofClay
A bit dated, but still relevant. Most of the issues still plaguing our community today. Not at all happy with some of the boot strap and respectability solutions offered up by the author, but considering the day and age in which it was written, it's excusable. Still a must read for anyone serious about eliminating the conditioning, indoctrination, and pathology plaguing the African diaspora.
Chalida
Sep 25, 2009 Chalida rated it it was amazing
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.
Jason
Oct 01, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing
I very much enjoyed this book, written by Carter Godwin Woodson in 1933. It was very interesting to get his point of view on education (and often mis-education) of African-Americans at that time and what might be done to remedy. It's interesting too to read with the benefit of hindsight, and to more understand how things came to be how they are now. I could have highlighted a section on nearly every page. What stood out to me is the authors repeated exhortations for black Americans to seize cont ...more
Clearwords
Sep 23, 2009 Clearwords rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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.
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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.” 149 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.” 88 likes
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