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english seamen Education And Egalitarianism In America

Education and Egalitarianism in America
The American educator Horace Mann once said: As an apple is not in any proper sense an apple until it is ripe, so a human being is not in any proper sense a human being until he is educated. Education is the process through which people endeavor to pass along to their children their hard-won wisdom and their aspirations for a better world. This process begins shortly after birth, as parents seek to train the infant to behave as their culture demands. They soon, for instance, teach the child how to turn babbling sounds into language and, through example and precept, they try to instill in the child the attitudes, values, skills, and knowledge that will govern their offspring's behavior throughout later life. Schooling, or formal education, consists of experiences that are deliberately planned and utilized to help young people learn what adults consider important for them to know and to help teach them how they should respond to choices. This education has been influenced by three important parts of modern American society: wisdom of the heart, egalitarianism, and practicality... the greatest of these, practicality. In the absence of written records, no one can be sure what education man first provided for his children. Most anthropologists believe, though, that the educational practices of prehistoric times were probably like those of primitive tribes in the 20th century, such as the Australian aborigines and the Aleuts. Formal instruction was probably given just before the child's initiation into adulthood -- the puberty rite -- and involved tribal customs and beliefs too complicated to be learned by direct experience. Children learned most of the skills, duties, customs, and beliefs of the tribe through an informal apprenticeship -- by taking part in such adult activities as hunting, fishing, farming, toolmaking, and cooking. In such simple tribal societies, school was not a special place... it was life itself. However, the educational process has changed over the decades, and it now vaguely represents what it was in ancient times, or even in early American society. While the schools that the colonists established in the 17th century in the New England, Southern, and Middle colonies differed from one another, each reflected a concept of schooling that had been left behind in Europe. Most poor children learned through apprenticeship and had no formal schooling at all. Those who did go to elementary school were taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion. Learning consisted of memorizing, which was stimulated by whipping. The first basic textbook, The New England Primer, was America's own contribution to education. Used from 1690 until the beginning of the 19th century, its purpose was to teach both religion and reading. The child learning the letter a, for example, also learned that In Adam's fall, We sinned all. As in Europe, then, the schools in the colonies were strongly influenced by religion. This was particularly true of the schools in the New England area, which had been settled by Puritans and other English religious dissenters. Like the Protestants of the Reformation, who established vernacular elementary schools in Germany in the 16th century, the Puritans sought to make education universal. They took the first steps toward government-supported universal education in the colonies. In 1642, Puritan Massachusetts passed a law requiring that every child be taught to read. And, in 1647, it passed the Old Deluder Satan Act, so named because its purpose was to defeat Satan's attempts to keep men, through an inability to read, from the knowledge of the Scriptures. The law required every town of 50 or more families to establish an elementary school and every town of 100 or more families to maintain a grammar school as well. Puritan or not, virtually all of the colonial schools had clear-cut moral purposes. Skills and knowledge were considered important to the degree that they served religious ends and, of course, trained the mind. We call it wisdom of the heart. These matters, by definition, are anything that the heart is convinced of... so thoroughly convinced that it over-powers the judgement of the mind. Early schools supplied the students with moral lessons, not just reading, writing and arithmetic. Obviously, the founders ... more

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AUGUST 1998, SPEECH AT MARCUS GARVEY'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION



In my opinion, Marcus Garvey was the greatest organizer of Afrikan people ever in the western hemisphere, meaning the Americas. The only person who has come close since is Minister Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam and if he continues he may exceed Garvey.


Marcus founded and led the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in 1914. At its peak it had over 2 million members worldwide, 700 chapters in the united states, 74 chapters in Louisiana alone and its headquarters in Harlem, New York had 35,000 members. All this at a time when the Black population in Harlem and the u.s. was less than half of what it is now. It also had chapters in the Caribbean, Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, etc. and in Central America, Costa Rico, Panama, Honduras, Cuba, Belize, etc. and in Latin America and Afrika.


When Marcus' wife, Amy Jacques Garvey, met the King Of Swaziland in Afrika he told her he had heard of only 2 Afro-Americans in his life: Jack Johnson, the 1st Black heavyweight champion and Marcus Garvey. The early members of the ANC, the organization that later came to power in South Africa and freed Nelson Mandela, were Garveyites. The UNIA also had chapters in Australia, Europe and Canada; in other words almost where ever there were Black people in the world in significant numbers who had heard of Garvey there was likely to be Garvey sympathizers, supporters, or a UNIA chapter.


UNIA had a Negro Factories Corporation that one time employed up to 1000 people. It owned restaurants, groceries, laundries, a Black doll factory, hotels and trucking businesses. Its Negro World newspaper was the most widely distributed Black newspaper in the world. Besides English, it also published a Spanish and a French edition. Black long shoremen/merchant seamen helped distribute Garvey's newspaper around the world and smuggled it into countries where banned. One of Garvey's most stunning achievements was the founding/ownership of the Black Star Steamship Line. He named his 1st ship the Frederick Douglas. His 2nd ship was an excursion boat, the Shadyside, which took Blacks on cruises up/down the Hudson River of New York. His 3rd steamship was named the Antonio Maceo, after the great Black Cuban revolutionary who fought for the independence of Cuba.


For a Black organization to own a steamship line in the 1920s is comparable to a Black person today owning an airline, railway or car manufacturing plant. He planned to purchase/rename his next ship, the Phyllis Wheatly, after an early Black poet, but he was arrested, framed, sent to prison and afterwards deported in order to derail him, the UNIA and Black people from the path of freedom.


These are just a few of the material accomplishments of Marcus before he was struck down by the u.s. government who then used everything in their power to wipe out the record of his phenomenal career. As a result, whole generations of Afrikan children grew up and never knew of him or saw his name in history books. They could wipe him out of the history books but they couldn't wipe out the impact of his work, his spirit, and the influence he had on the many people he met, touched, inspired and influenced. Many later became world leaders of their people, like Kwame Nkrumah,


1st President of Ghana, who said Garvey's Philosophy & Opinions had a greater impact on him than any other book, and who named his country's steamship line the Black Star, in honor of Garvey. Jomo Kenyatta, leader of the Mau-Mau and 1st President of Kenya, met Garvey and was influenced by him during their earlier days together in London. Garvey had similar effects on Godfrey Binasia who later became President of Uganda and on Ho Chi Minh, the great Viet Nam nationalist, who as a young merchant seaman attended UNIA meetings in Harlem whenever his ship docked in New York; also Ida B. Wells, the courageous two-gun toting sister, who crusaded against Black lynchings in the u.s., and many, many more.


They could wipe him out of the history books, even wipe out his physical accomplishments, but they couldn't wipe out his greatest contribution which was ... more

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