AKIL PARKER

February -

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Roots of Confusion

    Many of us in the Black community attended elementary schools where we received periodic grades of unsatisfactory, satisfactory, good or excellent. This is where much of our present-day confusion began. In these eurocentric neo-colonial schools we attended where the goal of most administrators, faculty and staff is to maintain the status quo of the society regardless of how deleterious it may be to the individual and collective well-being of Blacks. As students we are rewarded for our ability to conform to this standard. If we receive marks of “excellent” on report cards and progress reports, it is largely a reflection of how well we are able to demonstrate a respect and allegiance to eurocentric neo-colonialism promoted by these institutions.     This recognition is compounded by the reactions students often receive from well-meaning family as they are touted as “smart” for demonstrating how well they can uncritically internalize information forced upon them by those committed to our collective oppression.

    From these foundational schooling experiences in our formative years, it is a logical conclusion that many of us would grow up to use a similar criteria for what we classify as “Black Excellence.” These elementary schools were training grounds for us to become eurocentric neo- colonial negroes for which we were rewarded with marks of excellence, and as adults many of us view those that have achieved this status as veritable examples of Black Excellence.