Bridging the Racial Gap in Education

Bridging the Racial Gap in Education


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



The 1960s revolution threw a monkey wrench in Frankenstein’s plan and even though the revolution was aborted,

enough information made it through the Cointelpro operation to alter the consciousness of a generation of students

whose children and grandchildren are now of age and even in their unconsciousness are in rebellion



Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man’s Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

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Bridging the Racial Gap in Education

By Marvin X


The American educational system in general and the California educational system in particular must be totally and utterly dismantled and destroyed simply because it is the main instrument of the perpetuation of domestic colonialism otherwise known as white supremacy. This past week’s Achievement Gap Summit to bridge the racial divide called together by Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, offered false hope that the educational system can be saved despite the cultural lag between the old Eurocentric paradigm and the new racial reality of majority African, Latin and Asian population.

The Eurocentric system has been unable to inculcate its values successfully into the so-called minority populations that are rapidly becoming the majority. In short, the system is a failure because it was created by Frankenstein so that Afro-Latin peoples could assimilate into the monsters needed by a white supremacy capitalist regime. What are needed are wage slaves, up from chattel slavery, but the system has been hard pressed to create the dutiful slaves needed by a society whose purpose is the domination and exploitation of the world.

The 1960s revolution threw a monkey wrench in Frankenstein’s plan and even though the revolution was aborted, enough information made it through the Cointelpro operation to alter the consciousness of a generation of students whose children and grandchildren are now of age and even in their unconsciousness are in rebellion against the Eurocentric domestic colonial regime. The children know something is very very wrong here and hence over fifty per cent drop out of the school system before graduation.

The irony is that the students are not given credit for having the natural intelligence to know that something is very very wrong, that something stinks, but rather they are blamed for being the problem, or their families, mothers, fathers, or the lack thereof, their economic situation but never is the system that is contrary to their cultural identity blamed, never is the racist nature of the content and presentation labeled the cause, for after all, white supremacy is perfect and holy.

And so when the system looks at the monkey in the zoo, it never occurs to it that the monkey is looking at them. And this tragic blindness can never be healed by reform but only by revolution, the de-colonialization of the society in general and education in particular. Thus, we must now ask the question: is the society prepared to go beyond nitpicking and cherry picking reformism into the reality and necessity of revolution, concluding the revolution that was begun forty years ago when black students went to war to establish black studies, soon followed by other ethnic groups calling for Latin, Asian and Native American studies, even gender studies.

It most cases, these programs were tolerated, but in the main they were diluted, polluted and absorbed into the general curriculum until they were meaningless, harmless and totally reactionary, thus returning to the Eurocentric status quo and the system smiled and was happy and content once again, for its life was extended and the rebellion of the natives was squelched.

After all, during the 60s, the system had seen the danger of Johnny reading books and thinking independent thoughts, learning the craft of writing, even publishing books on consciousness, and so he was made dumb again, told he was incapable of mastering the King’s English, even though the king had been dethroned long ago but somehow his language remained as an instrument of terror and trauma, thus even today when the natives try to reconstruct viable communication in the language of their oppressor, they are condemned as being illiterate and uncivilized, even by their own culture police, such as Cosby and others.

So again, Johnny says to hell with the English language and the colonial administrators and instructors say to hell with Johnny.  Get out of here, you do not fit, nothing about you is acceptable, your speech, your poetry, your dress, your music, nothing, and by the way, we have a cell ready for you, a condo with a life estate. And rather than pay you a minimum salary of fifty thousand dollars per year to stop your mayhem in the hood—as we are now paying the insurgents not to kill us in Iraq, we will hold you in your cell or condo and make fifty thousand dollars per inmate per year off you while you sit like a monkey in a cage.

And even while imprisoned when you request conscious literature, we allow you, if at all possible, to read only material of the urban or gangsta genre so you may continue in your wretchedness and iniquity, and upon release spread more psychopathology into the hood, along with HIV/AIDS and other diseases from homosexuality, although you claim to be a straight American Gangsta.

Of course we shall continue to meet periodically to assess the racial divide, the gap between the practice and the promise, the reality and the dream. But the reality speaks volumes about our real intentions which is that nothing shall change fundamentally because it is about domination and exploitation, it is about holding onto our sense of reality until the end, and if necessary we shall call out the troops, order them to use their guns to prevent any radical change of the social order, in particular the educational system which perpetuates the values of the white supremacy culture.

We are both privileged and blessed to have this Eurocentric white supremacy culture so why should we, and for that matter how can we, change?  This would involve a radical recovery from our racist heritage, a deconstruction of our world view. We would need to detox from the magic spell we have allowed to consume us for generations, centuries; in short, our world would come to an end. But perhaps we would discover who we really are as we discovered ourselves as members rather than masters in the global village.

We would then accept Johnny, his language, his dress, his hair, his culture as equal to ours. We would even accept his thinking outside our box and he would not be penalized for such since we now see him as our equal, as a man among men, as a woman among women. When world events happened, we would consult him for his views on the matter.

We would not ignore his opinion or refuse to implement his ideas that may just happen to be sound and solid, based on a sense of history and reality, contrary to our which is based on illusionary hubris.

As a matter of fact, I left the Achievement Gap Summit early to attend an Afro-Asian sponsored fund raiser for Merve Dymally who is running for State Senator, even though he is eighty years old. At the event I met and talked with Asians who assured me they could get my books printed in China, even translated into Chinese for the people of China. And so it is, we must prepare for the world beyond the white box of Americana that has been nothing but a shallow grave for our people.  But in the shallow grave there is hope of resurrection, only if we are willing to jump out in a hurry, yes, seize the time, for time can be reversed.

Before leaving Sacramento I watched a television program about a family in Turkey who walked on all fours, a reversal of evolution. And it was said at the conference on education that this present black generation is the worse ever, and thus we are perhaps witnessing a reversal of evolution unless we make a great leap forward. And indeed, this will involve revolutionary changes in education, including the establishment of independent institutions financed by ourselves so they can remain independent, staffed by persons who teach with love and a sense of service, as Mr. Tavis Smiley said in his keynote address at the conference.

 Tavis may not be prepared for the revolution I speak about, but he is correct about love and service. He also spoke about fulfilling the promise, and we know the founding fathers called upon the people to again make revolution if the promise is not kept.


Dr. M is author of

How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy

, with a foreword by Dr. Nathan Hare and afterword by Ptah Allah El, Black Bird Press, POB 1317, Paradise CA 95965, $19.95. The next session of Dr. M’s Pan African Mental Health Peer Group is Saturday, December 15, 4pm at the Black Repertory Group Theatre, 3201 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA. No one turned away for lack of money but a $25.00 donation is requested (includes copy of book HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE ADDICTION TO WHITE SUPREMACY, A PAN AFRICAN 12 STEP MODEL FOR A MENTAL HEALTH PEER GROUP). For more information call 510-355-6339.,

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Tonight, Friday, November 16, 8pm, the BSU of San Francisco State University will host a fund raiser to celebrate the 40th celebration of the strike at SF State to establish the first black studies program at a major university–Humanist Hall, 27th and Telegraph, Oakland.

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Freedom’s Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark

By Katherine Mellen Charron

Freedom’s Teacher traces Clark’s life from her earliest years as a student, teacher, and community member in rural and urban South Carolina to her increasing radicalization as an activist following World War II, highlighting how Clark brought her life’s work to bear on the civil rights movement. Katherine Mellen Charron’s engaging portrait demonstrates Clark’s crucial role—and the role of many black women teachers—in making education a cornerstone of the twentieth-century freedom struggle. Drawing on autobiographies and memoirs by fellow black educators, state educational records, papers from civil rights organizations, and oral histories, Charron argues that the schoolhouse served as an important institutional base for the movement. Clark’s program also fostered participation from grassroots southern black women, affording them the opportunity to link their personal concerns to their political involvement on the community’s behalf.

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The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

By Yvonne Thornton

Dr. Yvonne Thornton’s memoir The Ditchdigger’s Daughters has captured the hearts of readers everywhere since it was first published in 1995. Translated into 19 languages, featured on Oprah, and made into a TV movie, this heart-warming and inspiring story chronicles Yvonne Thornton’s family; at its center is her beloved, unschooled but wise father Donald Thornton, who demanded that all five of his daughters not only excel in school, but go on to become doctors. Four of them did; the other found her calling in law and became a lawyer instead.—Dafina

Thornton’s frank, relaxed manner makes it accessible to general readers as well as students of women’s or African American memoir. Worth considering also for those looking for inspirational reads.—Library Journal

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 17 November 2007



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