The great Ei Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, also know as Malcolm X, asked some probingquestions about the mindset of blacks some 40 years ago. These queries are stillrelevant today.
“Who are you? … How did the (white) man wipe out your history? How did the man,what did the man do to make you as dumb as you are right now?”
With the wealth of knowledge available to us on our culture and history, I amdispleased that too few FAMU students are taking advantage of our preciousresources. The thirst for knowledge of past generations seems to be waning.For most of us, if we are not forced to learn anything “extra,” then we won’t.
The motive behind reading, for example, “The Souls of Black Folks” by W.E.BDubois shouldn’t be, “because I have to for class.” Rather, you should want abetter insight into the plight of freed black men and women after emancipation.Or maybe you could read “From Superman to Man” by J.A. Rogers. Not just because”I have to write a paper on it.” Read it because it incites a feeling ofconfidence and assurance by dispelling the theories of black inferiority andself-hatred.
We are being given an opportunity to rid our minds of the misinformation thatmost of us received throughout our primary education. But the indifference weshow is disheartening. Here, at FAMU, we live in a state of euphoria because weare in our own little world with our own culture and people.
But, let’s not forget that this isn’t the real world. Outside of here, yourabilities, particularly intellectual, will be questioned not only because yougraduated from a Historically Black University, but also because of a trait thatshouldn’t bear any weight when measuring someone’s mental capacity; thatunchangeable characteristic that is the hue of your skin.
To better prepare yourself for challenges, you must know yourself. Knowledge ofself affords us the opportunity to be free and rid our minds of the images thathave been forced upon us. There is, and always has been, another side to thecoin of history waiting to be explored, and it can be easily, and inexpensivelydone on the fourth floor of Coleman Library.
egin the process today. Pick up a book, expand your mind and heighten yoursense of self worth. Remember, it is your duty to be an informed citizen.
D.J. Bolden, 22, is a fifth year pharmacy student from Tampa. He can be reachedat Dbolden81@aol.com.