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Education Means Building More Schools

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial on a Black college in the WestAn article in the Wednesday, March 21, Pasadena Star News caught my eye because it was about educational opportunities for a select group across the country. The article entitled, "Growing In Pasadena" had a subtitle that said "Providence Christian College plans merger." It was about a small local Christian college, Providence, joining with a larger Southern Christian college, Covenant College in Lookout, Georgia, planning to expand their capability to educate more Christian students on the west coast. Providence, located in Pasadena, CA, has only 74 students. Covenant has over 1,000 students.

The article caught my eye because I have been talking about such a project since the first issue of the Pasadena Journal published in November, 1989. I have been asking why one of the Historical Black Colleges didn't create a western arm as an extension or why someone doesn't just create a new Black College in the West? The recent step by the University of California partnering with the Historical Black Colleges is evidence that it can be done.

The action by thousands of Whites, Asians, Jews and Armenians is evidence that there is a need to build private schools to augment the public education their children get. The fact that Black African slaves built churches, businesses, and schools, as soon as they could, following slavery, and even risked their lives to learn how to read, is further evidence of the need that getting an education is a priority toward real freedom and equality.

Someone once asked me why I believe there are no Black Colleges west of Texas. I responded that the newly freed slaves didn't see the need. Well, the need is here and if the Tea Party ever has its way, we may need it more than ever. They don't see why public education should exist for everybody. I later read that since 80% of the Black population lived in the south following slavery, that is where the need was. Now, since that is no longer the case, and since Blacks live all across the country, we need to build more schools before we fall further behind.

If you are asking how we do this, we do it the same way those uneducated former slaves did, with money and skills. We can get the money from sources like churches where we already give a percentage of our monies to. We can get some monies from those who have benefited from the Civil Rights struggle that led to the doors of the White colleges and universities opening up. Also, we can get some from Banks where money is stashed for some unforeseen use. Once we identify that we need more schools, we must build them. That's better than using the money for criminal defense, bail bonds, or for gas to visit our sons and daughters in prisons and jails.

An example of meeting a need: the Black Panthers developed a system of Saturday Schools in the sixties and seventies because they saw the need. The need is still here. Harriet Tubman is quoted to have said something to the effect that she freed three hundred slaves and she would have freed more if they knew they were slaves. I say that the NAACP'S, the churches, the Sororities, Fraternities, retired educators, and others need to get together and start recruiting volunteers and students to start some lasting private schools for our kids.

Even starting with a system of Saturday Schools, that can work as long as we just get it started. Then, start talking to the Black Colleges to join with us in the west to build a Black college. Why not?


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