Black History Month 2022 Newsletter, Issue 3
I often say, “Black Knowledge is Power.” Education is a social good. Education is currency. To understand the power of education, we need only look at the lives of three Black people. Dr. Anna Julia Cooper, Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois and Dr. Carter G. Woodson. A formerly enslaved Black woman, Dr. Cooper is one of the first African American women to receive her Ph.D. Over her life, Dr. Cooper utilized her education to address and help eliminate gender and racial inequities that persist today.
Dr. Du Bois and Dr. Woodson are the first two Black people to receive doctorates from Harvard. After emancipation, Dr. Du Bois and Dr. Woodson were a part of the first generation of free Black to pursue an advanced degree. Through that education and training, Dr. Du Bois would help found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, among many other accomplishments. For his part, Dr. Woodson created Negro History Week, the precursor to Black History Month.
All three of these doctors used their education to enrich and improve the country and the world. Imagine if emancipation had also removed barriers to higher education for all Black people. How much better off would we be if that opportunity had been available to all their African American peers? Their lives and accomplishments demonstrate the importance of access to quality education for Black people. The provision of a high-quality and free college education is a crucial component to repairing what slavery destroyed. If we are to achieve true racial equity, then it is imperative that all Black people in America receive a free college education. Dr. Marcus Anthony Hunter / Dr. Blackness