African-Centered Education

        In 1994, Haki Madhubuti and Dr. Safisha Mahbubuti, published a small book via Third World Press. It is a 24-page boook that is dynamic in it's subject matter, African -Centered Education, It's Value, Importance, and Necessity in the Development of Black Children. The first paragraph reads:

     "In America, people of African descent are caught between a hurricane and a volcano when it comes to the acquisition of life-giving and life-sustaining knowledge. Too many of our children are trapped in urban schools systems that have been "programmed" for failure. All to often the answer to what must be done to correct this injustice is left in the hands of those most responsible for creating the problem. If your child is sleeping and a rat starts to bite at his/her head you don't ask the rat to please stop biting at your child's brain. If you are a sane, normal, and loving parent, you go on the attack and try your damnedest to kill the rat."

The Madhubutis has stated what has been happening with our children and youth in the educational systems around the world for hundreds of years. Historically, Afrikan and Afrikan Amerikan children and youth have received eurocentric worldview education that has left them mis-guided, mis-informed, and mis-educated.

They discuss in length the Independent Black School Movement, which grew out of the 60s Black empowerment struggles and initiatives. From this movement came the Council of Independent Black Institues (CIBI). They present an African Centered Pedagogy  which produces an education that contributes to achieving pride, equity, power, wealth and culture continuity for Diasporan and Continental Afrikans. The following are goals that are specific to an effective African-Centered Education.
  1. Legitimizes african stores of knowledge.
  2. Positively exploits and scaffolds productive community and cultural practices.
  3. Extends and builds upon the indigenous language.
  4. Reinforces community ties and idealizes services to one's family, community, nation, race, and world.
  5. Promotes positive social relationships,
  6. Imparts a worldview that idealizes a positive, sufficient future for one's people without denying the self-worth and right to self-determination of others.
  7. Supports cultural continuity while promoting crtitical consciousness.

Out of honor and respect for our ancestors, we need to began to protest and construct an alternative to the existing education Afrikan children and youth receive. We need to demand an education that speaks to their heritage and history. The alternatives need to be culturally sensitive to ALL children and youth.

To purchase this book and many more contact Third World Press, Chicago Il.

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