For generations, in many parts of this country, it was illegal for black people to get an education. Slaves caught reading or writing could be beaten to within an inch of their lives. Anyone -- black or white -- who dared to teach them could be fined or thrown into jail. And yet, just two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, this school was founded not just to educate African Americans, but to teach them how to educate others. It was in many ways an act of defiance, an eloquent rebuttal to the idea that black people couldn’t or shouldn’t be educated.She juxtaposes this history with a contemporary idea that strongly requires rebutting.
Take a stand against the media that elevates today’s celebrity gossip instead of the serious issues of our time. Take a stand against the culture that glorifies instant gratification instead of hard work and lasting success.Indeed.
And as my husband has said often, please stand up and reject the slander that says a black child with a book is trying to act white. Reject that.
I recall first encountering that slander during my final year in Detroit, and being dismayed by the rejection of all that was proper in the civil rights struggles that it entailed.
Thank you, Mrs Obama, for being a more effective messenger than I could ever hope to be.