Mentacide Definition : “ the deliberate and systematic destruction of an individual or groups’ mind.”- Dr Bobby Wright

Definition of Education

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. … Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education

Oxford definition:

Education is defined as a learning process for the individual to attain knowledge and understanding of the higher specific objects and specific. The knowledge gained formally resulting individual has a pattern of thought and behavior in accordance with the education they have gained.

Pre-Colonial African Education

Before colonization, there was no need for formal education. Although education appeared basically disorganized to the casual onlooker, teaching was being done informally by the ‘elders’ of the household and the village at large. Children learned by examples. They watched and emulated older members of their family, village or tribe. This enhanced their socialization while they gained useful skills and values within the conforms of the communities in which they reside. Males and females had clearly defined roles in their tribal communes. Ritual, as “The Rights of Passage”, was used to initiate boys into manhood, while storytelling was an integral part of history lessons. Core values as endurance, integrity, morality, obedience, respect for women and the elderly were woven integrally in all lessons.

A Good Education for Africans

A good education incorporates not only the acquisition of knowledge, but also the values, traditions pertaining to beliefs and habits of a people. In other words, their culture! Therefore, a ‘good education’ for African people should include; their history, ethical and moral values, culture and beliefs. The male rights of passage from boyhood to manhood is very important and the roles of females are clearly defined. Young children are educated not only by family members but also by the tribal elders. There is a saying in Africa that; “it takes a village to raise a child.” Any form of education that does not include the values and history of a people, is somewhat lacking in its legitimacy.

Education as a tool for Mentacide

African people are just as intelligent as people of other ethnic origins. Although they are frequently classed as being inferior or castigated for being lazy, violent and unambitious, Africans have succeeded in various high profiled fields. Therefore, they have proven that they have the ability to master european technological and vocational methodology. Where they “fall down” is in the psychological arena. This is where Europeans manipulate the African psyche to let them believe that their black skins make them inferior to those with paler skin. Africans are brainwashed and taught to believe that the ethical values and customs of their forefathers were barbaric and detrimental to their development. They are indoctrinated into thinking that their only hope of survival is to adopt and maintain the european culture. This is mentacide!

Mentacide in the Classroom.

Without realizing it, many Africans contribute to their Mentacide by blindly accepting what is taught by Europeans with ulterior motives, accepting white supremacists ideologies and emulating white culture. One does not need to take an indepth look at the curriculum in Western schools and universities to realize that they do not cater to the upliftment of Africans in the diaspora. Although African Americans as people of color in the USA are popularly called, is one of the largest ‘minority’ ethnic groups, the teachings of their culture and languages are totally ignored. Values taught and enforced are all based on, and biased towards the European culture.   African Warrior Scholars as Dr. Amos Wilson, John Henrik Clarke, Chancellor Williams, Dr. Frances Welsing, Dr Cheikh Anta Diop, Marcus Mosiah Garvey and more recently, Baba Baruti* (to name a few), recognized the importance of Africans receiving their education from authentic African leaders. Until this becomes a reality, Africans will forever see themselves as a minority, thereby stifling their natural, innate tendency to be the assertive force they were created to be. They will forever be bowed, mentally weighed down by the mentacide from which they are struggling to emancipate themselves.   * Baba Mwalimu Baruti is a husband, father, teacher, author and African Warrior Scholar who has written many books on the social and mental status of Africans in the Western Hemisphere. Together with his wife Sister Yaa Baruti, they have established and are operating a school, the Akoben Institute for the education of Africans in Atlanta, Georgia.


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