Rando Alley not in Shaw- More of O’Brien Court NW/ Stevens School Garden

I’m just throwing this out there. It was in a collection of things I had from the National Archives, Still Picture Division. Why I have these, I don’t know.

I previously posted about O’Brien Ct. Here is another page about O’Brien Ct but regarding the Stevens School Garden Project. Look kids, school gardens are nothing new. The Stevens School was a school for Black children at the time, which was 1936. Now, it is a Pre-K school.

Carter G. Woodson- Mis-Education of the Negro -Chapter 3: How We Drifted Away From The Truth

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro.

According to Ancestry DNA African American ancestors hail from Cameroon/Congo, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast/ Ghana, sub-Saharan parts of Africa. However, they didn’t have DNA tests in the 1930s, so Carter G. Woodson would not have known this. Even if he did, it probably would not have stopped him from being a booster for all of Africa.

So in this 3rd chapter Woodson is critical of the Eurocentric nature of history and other subjects being taught. His very valid points:

In geography the races were described in conformity with the program of the usual propaganda to engender in whites a race hate of the Negro, and in the Negroes contempt for themselves. A poet of distinction was selected to illustrate the physical features of the white race, a bedecked chief of a tribe those of the red a proud warrior the brown, a prince the yellow, and a savage with a ring in his nose the black the Negro, of course, stood at the foot of the social ladder.

However, there is a very practical problem. Literacy. Until someone literate shows up (usually to complain about you) your history is limited to the best guesses of the anthropologists. Failure to leave behind a written record of your culture, is your fault. Feel free to correct me in the comments, Continue reading Carter G. Woodson- Mis-Education of the Negro -Chapter 3: How We Drifted Away From The Truth

Carter G. Woodson – Mis-Education of the Negro-Chapter 2: How We Missed the Mark

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro.

In this chapter Woodson looks at the history of education for African Americans after the Civil War. I had heard an audiobook that threw general criticism of Southern education, and Woodson does here too a bit. “The participation of the freedmen in government for a few years during the period known as the Reconstruction had little bearing on their situation except that they did join with the uneducated poor whites in bringing about certain much-desired social reforms, especially in giving the South its first plan of democratic education in providing for a school system at public expense.

In this chapter, the way I’m reading it, Woodson is not happy with the practicality of African American education, in addition to the quality.

Others more narrow-minded than the advocates of industrial education, seized upon the idea, feeling that, although the Negro must have some semblance of education, it would be a fine stroke to be able to make a distinction between the training given the Negro and that provided for the whites. Inasmuch as the industrial educational idea rapidly gained ground, too, many Negroes for political purposes began to espouse it; and schools and colleges hoping thereby to obtain money worked out accordingly makeshift provisions for such instruction, although they could not satisfactorily offer it. A few real industrial schools actually equipped themselves for this work and turned out a number of graduates with such preparation. Continue reading Carter G. Woodson – Mis-Education of the Negro-Chapter 2: How We Missed the Mark

Carter G. Woodson- Mis-Education of the Negro- Chapter 1: The Seat of Trouble

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro.

Last year I reviewed this book and I’m updating those posts.

I understand Woodosn was a man of his time and the challenges of what was being taught in the public school system and in Black colleges were real. There are new challenges, but I’m going to ignore them because they make me steaming mad. That challenge then, 100 years ago, was an education system dismissed the Negro (I’m going to use his words) and the African.

“At a Negro summer school two years ago, a white instructor gave a course on the Negro, using for his text a work which teaches that whites are superior to the blacks. When asked by one of the students why he used such a textbook the instructor replied that he wanted them to get that point of view. Even schools for Negroes, then, are places where they must be convinced of their inferiority. “

So that was a problem.

“Practically all of the successful Negroes in this country are of the uneducated type or of that of Negroes who have had no formal education at all. The large majority of the Negroes who have put on the finishing touches of our best colleges are all but worthless in the development of their people.”

It doesn’t really get any better. He pretty much considers the Black college graduate useless.

 “The Negro children, as a rule, come from the homes of tenants and peons who have to migrate annually from plantation to plantation, looking for light which they have never seen. The children from the homes of white planters and merchants live permanently in the midst of calculations, family budgets, and the like, which enable them sometimes to learn more by contact than the Negro can acquire in school. Instead of teaching such Negro children less arithmetic, they should be taught much more of it than the white children, for the latter attend a graded school consolidated by free transportation when the Negroes go to one-room rented hovels to be taught without equipment and by incompetent teachers educated scarcely beyond the eighth grade.”

I have no doubt whatsoever that 100 years ago Black schools lacked equipment. The one room school house or ‘rented hovel’ as Woodson puts it, Continue reading Carter G. Woodson- Mis-Education of the Negro- Chapter 1: The Seat of Trouble

Shaw Schools- A sort of review PARCC scores

The 2019-2020 academic year was…… so it’s kind of pointless to look back at that year. Which leaves me with the 2018-2019, the last normal year. Besides, the PARCC scores posted by OSSE end with the 2018-2019. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that kids’ grasp of math and English language arts did not improve with distance learning.

Let’s get this over with:

From Shaw School Review: Dunbar High School:PARCC by Race

PARCC Scores 2018-19, % meeting & exceeding expectations
Black White Hispanic Asian
ELA 2018-19 16.5% N/A n<10 N/A
Math 2018-19 .5% N/A n<10 n<10
Males ELA 13.4% N/A n<10 N/A
Males Math .9% N/A n<10 n<10

Continue reading Shaw Schools- A sort of review PARCC scores

1914 Howard University Students in Shaw

I wanted to see if by chance Arthur B. McKinney was in a Howard University yearbook. The yearbooks or student yearbook type publications go as far back as 1914. I did not spot him in that yearbook. I don’t know if those things covered the medical school.

But I did spot something interesting, addresses. This was not repeated in later yearbooks. So here is a small list of the students in Shaw:

Annie H. Catlett- 943 (or 913) St St NW

Frank Robert Cook- 1636 10th St NWCeretta Desmukes- 209 O St NW

Mark E. Rivers- 103 or 403 U St NWWalter S. Savoy- 1325 12th St NW

Herbert L. Stevens- 922 Florida Avenue NW

 

 

Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 3: How We Drifted Away From The Truth

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro. This post is rated PG-13 for language.

According to Ancestry DNA African American ancestors hail from Cameroon/Congo, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast/ Ghana, sub-Saharan parts of Africa. However, they didn’t have DNA tests in the 1930s, so Carter G. Woodson would not have known this. Even if he did, it probably would not have stopped him from being a booster for all of Africa.

So in this 3rd chapter Woodson is critical of the Eurocentric nature of history and other subjects being taught. His very valid points:

In geography the races were described in conformity with the program of the usual propaganda to engender in whites a race hate of the Negro, and in the Negroes contempt for themselves. A poet of distinction was selected to illustrate the physical features of the white race, a bedecked chief of a tribe those of the red a proud warrior the brown, a prince the yellow, and a savage with a ring in his nose the black the Negro, of course, stood at the foot of the social ladder.

However there is a very practical problem. Literacy. Until someone literate shows up (usually to bitch about you) your history is limited to the best guesses of the anthropologists. Feel free to correct me in the comments, Continue reading Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 3: How We Drifted Away From The Truth

Carter G. Woodson – Chapter 2: How We Missed the Mark

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro.

In this chapter Woodson looks at the history of education for African Americans after the Civil War. I just finished an audiobook that threw general criticism of Southern education, and Woodson does here too a bit. “The participation of the freedmen in government for a few years during the period known as the Reconstruction had little bearing on their situation except that they did join with the uneducated poor whites in bringing about certain much-desired social reforms, especially in giving the South its first plan of democratic education in providing for a school system at public expense.

In this chapter, the way I’m reading it, Woodson is not happy with the practicality of AfAm education, in addition to the quality.

Others more narrow-minded than the advocates of industrial education, seized upon the idea, feeling that, although the Negro must have some semblance of education, it would be a fine stroke to be able to make a distinction between the training given the Negro and that provided for the whites. Inasmuch as the industrial educational idea rapidly gained ground, too, many Negroes for political purposes began to espouse it; and schools and colleges hoping thereby to obtain money worked out accordingly makeshift provisions for such instruction, although they could not satisfactorily offer it. A few real industrial schools actually equipped themselves for this work and turned out a number of graduates with such preparation. Continue reading Carter G. Woodson – Chapter 2: How We Missed the Mark

Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 1: The Seat of Trouble part 2

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro. Find part 1 here.

So there was a problem with Black college education:

When a Negro has finished his education in our schools, then, he has been equipped to begin the life of an Americanized or Europeanized white man, but before he steps from the threshold of his alma mater he is told by his teachers that he must go back to his own people from whom he has been estranged by a vision of ideals which in his disillusionment he will realize that he cannot attain.

In a previous paragraph he wrote:

In schools of journalism Negroes are being taught how to edit such metropolitan dailies as the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times, which would hardly hire a Negro as a janitor; and when these graduates come to the Negro weeklies for employment they are not prepared to function in such establishments, which, to be successful, must be built upon accurate knowledge of the psychology and philosophy of the Negro.

In my earlier post on this chapter I took a quote about how successful African-Americans were uneducated. These were the entrepreneurs of the age. Woodson points out the problem that college graduates from HBCUs, could not work in their fields of study because they were not white. They are not prepared, Woodson contends, to work in the places where they can be hired because they do not understand their customer nor their employer, because of their education.

For the arduous task of serving a race thus handicapped, however, the Negro graduate has had little or no training at all. The people whom he has been ordered to serve have been belittled by his teachers to the extent that he can hardly find delight in undertaking what his education has led him to think is impossible. Considering his race as blank in achievement, then, he sets out to stimulate their imitation of others The performance is kept up a while; but, like any other effort at meaningless imitation, it results in failure.

There is a paragraph I’ve very temped to skip and because of that I will include it: Continue reading Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 1: The Seat of Trouble part 2

Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 1: The Seat of Trouble part 1

This is a series regarding Shaw resident Carter G. Woodson’s book The Mis-Education of the Negro.

Post long disclaimer- I feel I need to mention my background and biases. I have a graduate degree studying Modern European History. As an undergrad, I studied Early Modern European History, mainly focusing on the Tudors, the Stuarts and Ireland. Why? Because those were the classes where I got better grades. I learned my lesson losing a scholarship for 1 year due to poor grades (failed Business school math), I stuck with the classes that upped my GPA. I took one class on African History.

I studied the ‘Atlantic World’ looking at the triangle trade taking place between Europe, Africa and the New World. For some reason, I wrote a grad school paper comparing South African agriculture and the sharecropping system in the US South regarding Black people. So I have a tiny bit of South African history under my belt.

That said, I have my opinions when I read Woodson’s words on ‘our history.’ I also understand he was a man of his time and the challenges of what was being taught in the public school system and in Black colleges were real. That challenge was that the education system dismissed the Negro (I’m going to use his words) and the African.

“At a Negro summer school two years ago, a white instructor gave a course on the Negro, using for his text a work which teaches that whites are superior to the blacks. When asked by one of the students why he used such a textbook the instructor replied that he wanted them to get that point of view. Even schools for Negroes, then, are places where they must be convinced of their inferiority. “

So that was a problem.

“Practically all of the successful Negroes in this country are of the uneducated type or of that of Negroes who have had no formal education at all. The large majority of the Negroes who have put on the finishing touches of our best colleges are all but worthless in the development of their people.”

It doesn’t really get any better. He pretty much considers the Black college graduate useless.

Last quote for this post : “And even in the certitude of science or mathematics it has been unfortunate that the approach to the Negro has been borrowed from a “foreign” method. For example, the teaching of arithmetic in the fifth grade in a backward county in Mississippi should mean one thing in the Negro school and a decidedly different thing in the white school. The Negro children, as a rule, come from the homes of tenants and peons who have to migrate annually from plantation to plantation, looking for light which they have never seen. The children from the homes of white planters and merchants live permanently in the midst of calculations, family budgets, and the like, which enable them sometimes to learn more by contact than the Negro can acquire in school. Instead of teaching such Negro children less arithmetic, they should be taught much more of it than the white children, for the latter attend a graded school consolidated by free transportation when the Negroes go to one-room rented hovels to be taught without equipment and by incompetent teachers educated scarcely beyond the eighth grade.”

I have no doubt whatsoever that Black schools lacked equipment. The one room school house or ‘rented hovel’ as Woodson puts it, could be part of a romantic past or nightmarish past, depending on how dark or rose colored the viewer’s glasses. But the “incompetent teachers” comment seems a bit harsh and cruel. Who do you think was teaching these Black children? Black teachers, products of Black colleges. My mother’s sisters and sister-in-laws were all teachers at one point in their lives, products of HBCUs, so the comments cut a little.

My grandmother, born and raised in North Carolina, had a 6th grade education. So she didn’t even make it to the eighth grade. She could read. She could write well enough to communicate her thoughts and maintain addresses in her address book. Maybe do simple math (that I’m unsure of). She was prepared enough to be a sharecropper’s wife.

Woodson will mention “foreigners” and “foreign” a few times in ways that make me uncomfortable because I think it hints of antisemitism. This was the early 1930s so distrusting and bad mouthing Jews was all the rage. And we know where that led. However here, in this paragraph it doesn’t have that connotation.