African communities within The District of Columbia continue to face an onslaught of attacks on their public schools, including unwarranted school closures, privatization of public schools, and tracking for the school to prison pipeline. Africans in the United States have a long history of resistance to encroachment and meddling within the indispensable aspect of education. Those who have sought to control the minds, labor and overall communities of American born Africans, have known quite well how vital it is that they manipulate as many aspects of their educational systems as possible. Enslaved Africans were forbidden from reading or writing–often punishable by death or inhumane physical abuse. Slave masters and white society, in general, very well knew that by limiting Africans access to education (writing and reading), they, in turn, limited the overall prospects of empowerment and liberation of Africans. However, Africans found inventive ways to gain an education even in these most oppressive situations. They employed secret systems of socialized education whereby if one gained an education, the information learned could be taught to others. As a result, underground schools were established by Africans which led to higher literacy amongst the enslaved populations and prior to Brown v. Board of Education there were approximately 146 black/African boarding schools. Today there are four. Despite the mainly superficial gains of the historic 1954 ruling that desegregated this country’s public school system; institutionally racist attacks on African youth subsist. Africans lost complete control over the educating of their most valuable resource–their youth. One of the most prominent weapons used against black and brown youth is that of the Charter School Scheme—the corporatizing of public education. Despite evidence showing that Traditional Public Schools frequently outperform Charter Schools (Stanford University’s CREDO Report) the corporate media and untruthful politicians continue their false propaganda crusade, in an effort to further privatize public schools in communities of color.
African communities within The District of Columbia continue to face an onslaught of attacks on their public schools which is essentially a continuation of the attack on African education. School closures, privatization of public schools, and tracking for the nefarious school to prison pipeline are some of the significant reasons the DC chapter of the Black is Back Coalition (BIB) is actively organizing to put a halt to these vicious attacks, starting with the 2013 slated school closings. BIB is unequivocally committed to this issue