CHECK YOUR EGO BEFORE READING
The Little Rock 9 refers to the group of African American children that were the first selected to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, AK in 1957. These children made a significant impact on the Civil Rights Movement at that time by overcoming the taunts, bullying, and overwhelming rejection by the Caucasian community, students, and even Orval Faubus, the Governor of Arkansas. Upon thier arrival to the school these young children were met with an angry mob of white adults, who were completely against the idea of integration, and also the National Guard who were summoned by Governor Faubus to support the protestors in keeping the Black children out of Central High School. President Dwight D. Eisenhower then dispatched the U.S. Army’s 101st Air Division to escort the children to and from school and classes.
During this time and long before, Black students across the country were lacking the essentials that white schools had in abundance. Blacks were also in the midst of the violent fight for equality. I understand the desire for equal opportunities and education for our children, but what I don’t understand is why Blacks thought integration would achieve equality with thier white oppressors; and also why our children were used and subjected to that level of hatred to achieve that desired outcome?
I have two children, and I want them to receive the best education possible without any limitations. But I cannot agree with the Black community using the American education system as an institution to educate our youth simply because it is based on a European standard that disregards African concepts and philosophy. Though some Black children succeed and excel within this institution, the vast majority of Black students disengage with the education system because it has no relevance to who they are or thier culture.
Instead of assimilating to European concepts, Blacks of the Jim Crow Era should have pressed the validity of African ideologies and history. They should have taken time to reeducate youth and themselves on the traditions of our ancestors, original languages, and African customs and beliefs.
Allowing the Little Rock 9 to be subjected to that kind of treatment initiated the further indoctrination of Black children into a dominant European culture foreign to their original way of thinking, cementing an inferiority complex that hasn’t been broken to this day.
The push for integration also insults our African ancestors in a way that would be unimaginable placed in a different perspective. Imagine you are a West African during the height of the slave trade with the ability to see into the future. These people with skin you’ve never seen, who speak in a tongue you never heard point something at your husband, a loud bang goes off and the inside of your husbands head spreads in a mist over your face as he falls to the ground. They repeatedly and forcibly rape you. You agonize as they tear your children away from your breast. You see the people you grew up with, shared meals and conversations with locked in heavy chains that rip flesh away from thier bones. After your capture, you are in a dark, overcrowded box in these chains for a period that seems forever. You are brought to a land you know nothing about, and you see even more people with skin you’ve never seen.
Now imagine you are this ancestor in this condition forced upon you; again with the ability to see into the future. Imagine the cry of agony that overtakes you when you see the very people that are raping and destroying you, attempting to erase what you believe to be true position your children at thier feet to beg for acceptance?
You watch your children ask YOUR rapist to educate their children? And thier children, and so on….
You see your children ask your oppressor to define an identity for them that looks nothing like what you taught them?
It wouldn’t make sense to you. And you would do whatever it took from your position in the past to keep this from being your legacy…..
In no way do I mean to diminish the accomplishments of the Little Rock 9. Those young children handled the situation they were placed in an exceptional way and deserve all the accolades they will ever receive for standing up to racism on a level of maturity that was before their time and most adults in that time were afraid to do. But the question to ask ourselves is how much equality has the desegregation of the American Education System brought to the black community? If you are honest with yourselves, it’s been very little. And desegregation does not erase the many other institutionalized areas within the system in which we choose to live under.
You are mistaken to think that meddling in white affairs, fighting for white accomplishments, or defining success by a white standard will bring you equal to white society because it won’t.
What makes you think that by “fighting” for equality, forcing someone to accept you, or even accepting their way of life as your own will help them see you as they see themselves?
Being ignorant is not defined by race. So before you get offended if you aren’t already, I align with the statements of Anthony J. Hilder, who said even after being shot by a black man,”Our enemies cannot be recognized by a state of color but by a state of mind.” He also stated that “It is not the white man that is the enemy but it is certain white men. And if you have a problem telling the difference than you need to get educated.”
No matter what the Black man or Black woman does to assimilate we will always be treated and perceived as inferior to these “certain white men.” So why not accept who you really are and embrace it; learn your original culture; you are royalty and your Black skin represents divinity. Speak your native tongue and define success by your own way of thinking?
As a parent, I would never knowingly allow my child to accept themselves as inferior to anyone, especially to a line of people who define themselves by conquests and material gain. A European standard have no concept of an African meaning of success and why should they? Connections, family, wisdom, peace for is not conducive to a country built on capitalism.
If anything, I would have pushed to establish our own school system and standard; educate ourselves on ourselves so that we can progress for ourselves.
I said it before, but don’t think you understood. As one great man put it…..