Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 13: Understand the Negro

It’s Black History Month, so I am continuing with the series of posts regarding Shaw resident and Father of Black History, Carter G. Woodson and his book The Mis-Education of the Negro, published in 1933.

Statue of Carter G. Woodson in Shaw DC

This is a really short month and this book is 18 chapters. I am going to put this chapter in one post instead of breaking it up into two, though there are two thoughts I want to cover. The first thought is, was, the problem of Black Studies in the early 20th century, there wasn’t really. The second thought was the comparison he makes between European culture and African studies. This is going to be a really long post.

Black Studies, What Black Studies?

Carter G. Woodson is known as the father of Black History. He had to cobble together and create organizations for the study of African Americans because there was almost nothing in existence. So what he was noting (complaining about) was the lack of Black Studies as well as the problem of kind of education African Americans at all education levels received.

A further examination of their curricula shows, too, that invariably these Negro colleges offer courses in Greek philosophy and in that of modern European thought, but they direct no attention to the philosophy of the African. Negroes of Africa have and always have had their own ideas about the nature of the universe, time, and space, about appearance and reality, and about freedom and necessity. The effort of the Negro to interpret man’s relation to the universe shows just as much intelligence as we find in the philosophy of the Greeks. There were many Africans who were just as wise as Socrates.


Looking over the courses of study of the public schools, one finds little to show that the Negro figures in these curricula. In supplementary matter a good deed of some Negro is occasionally referred to, but oftener the race is mentioned only to be held up to ridicule…..

and  (warning this contains the N word) Continue reading Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 13: Understand the Negro