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The Mis-Education of the Negro The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson
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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.”
Carter Godwin Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“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.”
Carter Godwin Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“Philosophers have long conceded, however, that every man has two educators: 'that which is given to him, and the other that which he gives himself. Of the two kinds the latter is by far the more desirable. Indeed all that is most worthy in man he must work out and conquer for himself. It is that which constitutes our real and best nourishment. What we are merely taught seldom nourishes the mind like that which we teach ourselves.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“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 stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“No man knows what he can do until he tries.”
Carter Godwin Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“As another has well said, 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.”
Carter Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“The oppressor has always indoctrinated the weak with his interpretation of the crimes of the strong.”
Carter Godwin Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“If you teach the Negro that he has accomplished as much good as any other race he will aspire to equality and justice without regard to race. Such an effort would upset the program of the oppressor in Africa and America. Play up before the Negro, then, his crimes and shortcomings. Let him learn to admire the Hebrew, the Greek, the Latin and the Teuton. Lead the Negro to detest the man of African blood--to hate himself.”
Carter Godwin Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“It may be well to repeat here the saying that old men talk of what they have done, young men of what they are doing, and fools of what they expect to do. The Negro race has a rather large share of the last mentioned class.”
Carter Godwin Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“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 stay in it.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“The bondage of the Negro brought captive from Africa is one of the greatest dramas in history, and the writer who merely sees in that ordeal something to approve or condemn fails to understand the evolution of the human race.”
Carter Godwin Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“THE "educated Negroes" have the attitude of contempt toward their own people because in their own as well as in their mixed schools Negroes are taught to admire the Hebrew, the Greek, the Latin and the Teuton and to despise the African. Of the hundreds of Negro high schools recently examined by an expert in the United States Bureau of Education only eighteen offer a course taking up the history of the Negro,”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“Real education means to inspire people to live more abundantly, to learn to begin with life as they find it and make it better,”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“the so-called radical Negroes who have read and misunderstood Karl Marx and his disciples and would solve the political as well as the economic problems of the race by an immediate application of these principles. History shows that although large numbers of people have actually tried to realize such pleasant dreams, they have in the final analysis come back to a social program based on competition.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“In the schools of business administration Negroes are trained exclusively in the psychology and economics of Wall Street and are, therefore, made to despise the opportunities to run ice wagons, push banana carts, and sell peanuts among their own people. Foreigners, who have not studied economics but have studied Negroes, take up this business and grow rich.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“Some of the American whites, moreover, are just as far behind in this respect as are the Negroes who have had less opportunity to learn better.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“By their peculiar “reasoning,” too, theologians have sanctioned most of the ills of the ages. They justified the Inquisition, serfdom, and slavery. Theologians of our time defend segregation and the annihilation of one race by the other. They have drifted away from righteousness into an effort to make wrong seem to be right.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“When a white man sees persons of his own race tending downward to a level of disgrace he does not rest until he works out some plan to lift such unfortunates to higher ground; but the Negro forgets the delinquents of his race and goes his way to feather his own nest, as he has done in leaving the masses in the popular churches.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“It has been said that the Negroes do not connect morals with religion. The historian would like to know what race or nation does such a thing. Certainly the whites with whom the Negroes have come into contact have not done so.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“Cooperation implies equality of the participants in the particular task at hand.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“They are anxious to have everything the white man has even if it is harmful.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“Of the hundreds of Negro high schools recently examined by an expert in the United States Bureau of Education only eighteen offer a course taking up the history of the Negro, and in most of the Negro colleges and universities where the Negro is thought of, the race is studied only as a problem or dismissed as of little consequence. For example, an officer of a Negro university, thinking that an additional course on the Negro should be given there, called upon a Negro Doctor of Philosophy of the faculty to offer such work. He promptly informed the officer that he knew nothing about the Negro. He did not go to school to waste his time that way. He went to be educated in a system which dismisses the Negro as a nonentity.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“No people can go forward when the majority of those who should know better have chosen to go backward, but this is exactly what most of our misleaders do.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“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 stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“Negro church is such a free field and it is controlled largely by the Negroes themselves, it seems that practically all the incompetents and undesirables who have been barred from other walks of life by race prejudice and economic difficulties have rushed into the ministry for the exploitation of the people.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“The same educational process which inspires and stimulates the oppressor with the thought that he is everything and has accomplished everything worth while, depresses”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“The differentness of races, moreover, is no evidence of superiority or of inferiority. This merely indicates that each race has certain gifts which the others do not possess. It is by the development of these gifts that every race must justify its right to exist.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“The education of the Negroes, then, the most important thing in the uplift of the Negroes, is almost entirely in the hands of those who have enslaved them and now segregate them.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“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.”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
“Why not exploit, enslave, or exterminate a class that everybody is taught to regard as inferior?”
Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro

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