Chapter 3, goes into how the missionaries tried to help blacks after the civil war. The missionaries, however, had more enthusiasm than they did knowledge. When a poet was asked to describe each race he described the whites as tribe chiefs, red people were proud warriors, the yellow people were princes, and the black people were savages with rings in their noses. He talked about how when teaching the blacks, they only teach them about the Caucasians part of it and there is nothing about the Africans who made, developed and refined these practices, equations and theories.
For example, when studying language, the students are told that the natural black dialect is something that is wrong rather than that it is a form of “broken-down African tongue” and should in turn be studied as well. In the education system a person would “never hear Africa mentioned except in the negative”. Woodson’s said that “the present system under the control of the whites trains the Negro to be white and at the same time convinces him of the impropriety or the impossibility of his becoming value”.
Chapter 4, talks about the issues of white people teaching blacks. The white’s teachers now had no useful function in the life of a Negro, and therefore, they didn’t have the enthusiasm of knowledge that the earlier missionaries had. He said that if the black schools were supposed to be able to compete with the white school then the same high standard of teachers should be required and handled by both. There is no real interracial cooperation in these schools and it is just a way of “making the inferior carry out the orders of the superior”.
Jessie O. Thomas said “the Negros do the ‘cooing’ and the whites do the ‘operating’”. Some people just believe that Negro are not ready to take over institutions, but Woodson gives an example using the African American, Mordechai Johnson. He used the fact that while Johnson was the first black president of Howard University he raised more money for the institution then any president before him, to dispel the thought that blacks were not ready to take charge.
He also said,” the education of any people should begin with the people themselves, but Negroes thus trained have been dreaming about the ancients of Europe and about those have tried to imitate them”. These school don’t produce well-functioning blacks because they are more focus on just education and not circumstance. The education that these blacks is catered to the educational needs of white and not blacks. Since the blacks have been suppressed for so long they lost sight of what education is really for, higher degrees should be earned to further ones knowledge in not subject and not just for a higher position or raise.
Chapter 5, goes into how the blacks are being taught fundamental things and not how to survive in the real world. The education system makes the blacks leave behind the opportunities that they have and try to pursue new ones which they will most likely never get. However the white are able to choose a variety of different fields because of the opportunities offered to them. He highlights blacks should open businesses in things that they know that they are historically good at, rather than try to be successful using white principals.
He told how “highly educated” blacks are the ones that will find themselves struggling because they are trying to make a living off of what they learned in the white universities, and how the “poorly educated” blacks who haven’t been to a white university can open and maintain businesses because can they use what their skills that are culturally relevant to them. However, most of the black owned businesses in the 1900 are not here today. This is because the black business man had too much to do and he could go to a white university for assistance because they won’t teach him how to run a black business but rather a white business.
Most of the methods used by successful black business man at this time were mostly hit and miss, and when the owner died so did the company. All of the failures in these businesses are not just because of the blacks’ lack of business knowledge, but the need to feel superior to their competition. To feel as if they have finally achieved success the black owners will go out and spend money on material things to show off their wealth and status rather than save, invest or give back to the community.
Chapter 6, is about how blacks once blacks are educated they feel estranged in their own community’s. The no longer feel as if they are a part of the black community, when in all actuality these people in their communities are the one they will eventually have to count on. For example most Negros belong to the churches in the community and they have a large influence on them, but the more educated the Negro gets the less comfort they get from going to these churches. They would rather go to white churches like the ones that they have at the universities.
In recent generation the Negros have turned away from the churches and the gap between the masses and the elite is widening. The educated Negros will say that they haven’t lost interest in the churches but they just have the need to be in a church that they feel “matches their intellectual atmosphere”. They mindset of the Negro has changed over time. Initially a black man wanted to go to school to obtain knowledge but now a black man goes to school to retain information long enough to pass a test and get a degree.
It is ironic that the only institution that the Negros have control over, the Negro church, is the one that the “educated negro” wants to stay the furthest away from. The blacks had no power or say in the business field but yet they kept trying to change it but they have the power to develop the black church in any way they see fit but they have failed to do so. Chapter 7, talks about how the arguments and discord between churches in urban areas. Since the churches split up into so many different sects there is confusions as to which is the right one.
The people in the community have lost their connections and closeness to each other because of the biases in each sect. This division of the people have in turn made the black community weaker and also left the blacks with little to no spiritual guidance, and with blacks being so devout in churches this left them somewhat handicapped. Religious school have not made this separation of the black people any better, they have actually made it worse. Instead of teach religious tolerance they reach on the bias thought of the teachings of this church is right and the teachings of yours are wrong.