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The H3O/Art of Life Blog

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Higher Education: Charting The Course

By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace Presented by Omni-University 

"History shows that it does not matter who is in power or what revolutionary power takes over the government, those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights in the end than they had at the beginning." Ancestor Dr. Carter G. Woodson Of all the gems of wisdom taken from his landmark work, "Miseducation of the Negro", the admonition quoted above is the least-cited but, nevertheless, it is equally significant. Ancestor Woodson's emphasis on the "Do-for-Self" philosophy that is so essential to the welfare and well-being of ourselves and our fellow men and women, was exemplified, most notably, by The Honorable Marcus Mosaiah Garvey, Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, The Honorable Elijah  Muhammad, Jomo Kenyatta, Maggie Lena Walker, and Dr. Anita Young Boswell, et al. An equal part of "The Miseducation..." is devoted  to making the distinction between "getting a job" and "making a living". Woodson makes the critical point that: "Foreigners who have not studied economics" grow rich by taking up the business of studying opportunities among our own people." The proliferation of vanity businesses such as eyebrow and nail salons and convenience stores in our neighborhoods is a testament to this fact.  Meanwhile, we continue to mortgage our families' futures in order to pursue the domestic educational objective of "getting a good education" which is purported to be the pipeline that leads to getting a "good job". Ultimately and inevitably, it is anticipated that once the "good job" is secured  and student and/or parent loans and related debts are getting paid, the "good life" will follow. However, according to the way of thinking of our Ancestors, a "good job" is an oxymoron since there is no question of whether or not doing for others is more beneficial, in the long run, than "doing for Self", i.e., doing for the collective self.[1] We are introduced to one of many early examples  of this "self- reliance" philosophy, Maggie Lena Walker, in the sermon presented by Rev. Randall F. Blakey, [2] As her story goes, Ancestor Maggie Lena Walker joined her mother as a member, then as leader, of "The Independent Order of St. Luke", a mutual benevolent society that provided "insurance, educational funding, and financial services to Black people after the Civil War. The organization also launched a Department store, a newspaper, and ..., a bank that she strongly believed was the way to uplift Black women. The economic independence of the Black woman was seen by her as an “ethical imperative.” This view was shared by Dr. Arnita Young Boswell who, in 1970, founded "The League of Black Women".[3] Maggie Lena Walker charted her own "course of studying", incorporating correspondence [via mail] courses in banking and accounting while utilizing a bank as the classroom in which to hone her skills. Thereafter, she became "the first Black woman, ever, to head a US bank, The St. Luke Pennysaving Bank, which she founded in Richmond Virginia 1903". It remains in operation to this day- 117 years later. As Rev. Blakey observed, "She zeroed in on an underserved market and focused her dynamic energy on meeting its needs. Her story is all the more remarkable," Rev. Blakey concluded, "because it played out on a stage of an intense and excruciating global pandemic of racism." Among the main points that must be considered, i.e., collective Self-reliance, is the one that is set forth in the following quote from Ancestor Julius Nyerere, former President of Tanzinia and author of the theory of "Education for Self Reliance ": "The education provided must therefore encourage the development in each citizen of three things: an inquiring mind; an ability to learn from what others do, and reject or adapt it to their own needs; and, a basic confidence in his own position as a free and equal member of the society, who values others and is valued by them for what he does and not by what he obtains." Much more on the subject can be said some of which is undertaken in The H3O Art of Life Show that follows. It is hoped that the ensuing conversations will continue and that a consensus based on the philosophy of Do for Self/ Self- reliance is reached. 

Blognotes: [1] Jomo Kenyatta, "Facing Mt. Kenya” [2] Entrepreneurship in the Face of a Global Pandemic" Sermon by Rev. Randall F. Blakey, Executive Pastor, LaSalle St. Church, Sunday, October 4, 2020 YouTube [3] You are invited to watch "WOMEN AND WEALTH", an H30 ART OF LIFE  Show featuring: Sandra Finley.  

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