Crippled by miseducation
Photo by Timothy Ramsey
St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church celebrates African-American History
BY TIMOTHY RAMSEY
Black History Month is upon us and African-Americans of the past and present will be celebrated all over the country. St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, 1625 E 12th St., held an African-American history program last Saturday honoring African-American’s who contributed to the progress of the culture.
Dr. Winston Bell also touched on the woes of the African-American community.
Bell was the speaker of the event. He has taught African-American history classes at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) and helped construct the African-American course curriculum for students at WSSU.
He says the African-American community has every means to get out the situation they are in collectively but just aren’t aware of it.
“We have the resources, the money and the information has been here but its not going to come through organized education,” Dr. Bell said. “The system itself was not built in our favor yet we still expect that we are going to go in and change the system to do for us what has not been done for 400 years.”
“The miseducation is we are never given the information to make ourselves independent of the system. The education we are given makes us a part of the system and then dependent upon it.”
Bell says he normally titles his programs “2019” to commemorate the 400 years since the first Africans were brought to this country on slave ships. He says he does this to make others aware of who they are so they may become more independent.
Bell started his lecture by giving the audience a brief history of some important and lesser known figures from the African-American community. He talked about how civilization started on the continent of Africa and posed a thought-provoking question, asking “How are African-American’s considered a minority when all people started on the continent of Africa?” He says he does not consider himself a minority and the African-American community has “been crippled by miseducation.”
Bell also touched on the Moors, Africans who ruled in North Africa and parts of Europe for hundreds of years; how ancient African cultures taught many European nations; and heroes from the Civil Rights era. He also spoke about how many blacks only know the history of their culture since the middle passage. He said there is a wealth of knowledge about the African-American culture before slavery.
When asked what he hopes people take away from his lecture he said, “I hope that they will be activated to go and learn for themselves. We were never supposed to know because the system was set up as such.”