By Frank T. Scruggs The Afro News International
Many times African-blooded people around the world seek self-determination, to acquire political power and improve their socio-economic status. The first step in achieving these goals is to embrace education and knowledge. Far too many African people around the world have ignored the importance of formal education. Education has long been the road to enlightenment and freedom. Education awakens one to exploitation, oppression and the subtleties of racism and white privilege.
Oftentimes there is a sense of comfort and bliss within certain levels of ignorance and often those whom elevate their minds cannot all of a sudden reveal the depth of knowledge they possess due to the backlash from others. In the centuries old book, Plato’s Republic, the philosopher described an imaginary situation of people bound underground in a dark cavern. In this cavern their only view of the world was one of the shadows puppets and carved figures that flickered from a fire. One of the bound people freed himself from this bondage and climbed out the cavern into the world outside the cavern. He then saw the real world and went back to tell his bound comrades what he saw of the real world. They thought him mad, attacked him and placed him back into bondage. When some of us have freed our minds and leave others bound an intolerable situation is created and much conflict is created. Education and enlightenment therefore must be available to all.
We cannot expect to lead and seek to control our own destinies without education and knowledge. We must understand technology, industry, science and our own history to move forward. Obtaining a degree is more than reading a thousand books or parroting some instructor’s lecture; it is more about critical thinking, raising one’s skill level and advancing within the arts and sciences. Education is the foundation of nation-building and enhancing one’s culture. Education provides the freedom and social imagination necessary to create a lasting, endurable people and collective spirit. Education provides the mechanism needed to create leaders and informed followers.
Education becomes a first step in the creation an international, cross-cultural agenda designed to bring unity throughout the African Diaspora. Reaching one’s full potential becomes a true possibility when people can learn about their own identity and are allowed to acquire technical and philosophical skills that are consistent with their own aptitudes. Education is not just a want but is a necessity that African people everywhere need to demand and aggressively seek.