The Mis-Education of the Negro

(9 customer reviews)


The Mis-Education of the Negro is a book originally published in 1933 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. The thesis of Dr. Woodson’s book is that blacks of his day were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools. This conditioning, he claims, causes blacks to become dependent and to seek out inferior places in the greater society of which they are a part. He challenges his readers to become autodidacts and to “do for themselves”, regardless of what they were taught:

History shows that it does not matter who is in power… those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning.

Here is a quote from the book:

“When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.


9 reviews for The Mis-Education of the Negro

  1. vizer

    I will recommend this book to be read by all black people. We need to rise up and unite and learn to do things for ourselves as the author said. like a prevoius reviewer had noted,, it a shame that 75% of what is in the book still exists. Black people , we can turn things around and we can, with a positive mindset and turn things around from a brainwashed state.

  2. Akin

    Great book, would recommend it for anyone that wants to know about the history of the educated black Negro should definitely read this.

  3. Scott

    What an amazing piece of literature. You are transported back in time as this narrative describes the present fate of the ‘negro’, the conditions in which he finds himself and how the social discourse and geo-political climate merely serve to further subjugate. The reader is immediately gripped by the almost polemical style of writing as Woodson caricatures the ‘negro’ in his discussion of mis – education. This caricature is necessary though to convey the way that the ‘negro’ is disenfranchised within the education system. Woodson manages it beautifully in this rhetorical masterpiece.

    It is striking that all the issues that Carter discusses are the issues of today. His writing comes across as patronising but this is not the intention. His message is clear. A must read for all those concerned with social justice. I could not put it down.
    3 people found this helpful

  4. Tyrone H.

    This is a very inspiring book. i bought it for a group of young men and women back home in Africa who I have put on a reading programme and the feedback from them is sensational. Its an excellent book to be read by anyone looking to becoming tomorrow’s leaders. Excellent read.

    A wholesomely excellent book!!

  5. Swetlana Neubauer

    Very informative book. It’s sad that we’re still facing so many of the problems almost 100 years later.

  6. Bibliomaniac

    Every Black Person in America NEEDS to read this book a few times and regularly. Although written many years ago, it hits the nail of the head. This book will help you understand the internalized racism that we as African-Americans suffer; but more importantly, it provides a catalyst for healing the wounds of internalized racism. Please read it!

  7. Cellus Hamilton

    I bought this book at a friend’s recommendation and read it with my wife. Not only does it bring understanding to why we have some of the current challenges that exist within the African American community today, it also explains how we further perpetuate these challenges by believing certain lies. As a people, we have been miseducated about who we are, our value, wealth, politics and so much more…and when we don’t know where we come from, we can never change where we are going. This is a book that I will constantly be re-reading every few years to keep myself accountable. It has also burdened me with the task of having to share what I now know with as many others as I can.

  8. Carolyn Roberson


    Where was this book when I was going to school from 1950-62? I could not put it down once I began to read it, because it reminded me of so much of what I needed in my growth and developement was not made available to me as a young person of color growing up in a segregated society, and many of those who think that we have arrived at a color-blind point in America need to read this book, and then compare it to what is happening with us today. The author was relevent then in his revelations and in his effort to open eyes and minds to the lack of knowledge of self, and is more relevent now, because, too many educated people of color find it even harder to succeed in today’s job market and the available employment opportunities. We still allow others to control almost every aspect of our lives, including what we are to learn, think, and accept from the world in which we live and the institutions which influences the minds of our children. Morover, we continue to consume more of what others produce for us than what we produce for ourselves. It is time we become producers and traders of goods and services in this nation and in our communities, and we should insist that our children be taught skills that will help them to become self-sufficient and self-reliant. A college education means nothing if you cannot do more than just make a living, and if what you have studied is not marketable for more than teaching the same to someone else. Help someone to learn to produce something or provide a service that is needed by others in a world that is forever changing.

  9. Williams Musa

    Nice books

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