Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

What does black education have to do with the Western time line since the European Renaissance? Part 1 of this article established that Western scholars, during the period before Copernicus, believed that the sun revolved around the earth. This may be a possible analogy for what has happened to Westernized black scholars as many educated blacks seem to take Western scholarship as gospel truth without question.

A West African proverb states that until the lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter. As the descendants of African slaves, do we not have the responsibility to question the very foundation and standards of Western education? Don’t worry about answering that question. My job is merely to introduce a perspective you may not have considered before. Reflect on what follows.

In 1492, the Europeans kicked out the African Moors from Europe, driving them back into Africa. For more than 700 years, the Moors had brought into Europe an immense amount of knowledge from Africa, including science, math, art, literature, languages, etc. Most of today’s history books as interpreted by Westerners prefer to identify the Moors only as Arabs. Please note that this is similar to identifying the founders of Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Rock & Roll, R&B, and even Country music only as Americans.

The eminent African-American scholar, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, said that African history “was old before Europe was born.” Please continue to bear the dates in mind.

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The European Renaissance has been interpreted as having begun in the 14th Century (1300s) and lasting until the 16th Century (1500s). The last of the Africans were kicked out of Europe by 1492 at the very end of the 15th Century. It was in the 16th Century that the European Renaissance saw its most dramatic growth. Was the timing of the African evacuation from Europe and the explosion of European knowledge merely a coincidence?

What would it mean to black education today if black scholars discovered that the theories espoused by Copernicus in 1514 and the other “mental giants” during the European Renaissance were simply the result of Europeans finally having complete access to the old African knowledge left behind by the African Moors? Would not even the possibility of something like this having occurred be worthy of study by African-American scholars?

We may never fully know how much of this knowledge the Africans left behind, but what we do know is that Europeans, for some reason vital to them, began writing out of their history the contributions of Africans to the world. By systematically editing out the contributions of Africans and elevating European contributions as the first to discover how the universe works, Europeans have successfully created a line of reasoning that continues today to force us, as descendants of Africa, to see ourselves as always playing catch up to them.

With the lack of knowledge of what our ancestors did, we can say that our knowledge today may be as ineffectual to us as being taught that the sun revolves around the earth. What sort of havoc has this time line brought upon the black psyche, particularly when we throw into this equation the fact that most of us consider de-Africanized, European and American education to be the best way to recover from the legacies of slavery and segregation? Quite puzzling, isn’t it, but isn’t this precisely why we need to study black education?

By rahul