Dr. Conrad Worrill, Chicago Crusader
It is very important for African people in America to educate and reeducate ourselves about our history and its relationship to the important ideas that shape how we see the world.
We are still challenged today to create an educational climate that inspires African youth in America to understand that the purpose of education is to develop the skills and historical understanding of the past, as it relates to the present and future, in preparation for working for self and the liberation of African people.
This is the challenge of the twenty-first-century, to defeat the hundred year old tradition established by white educational leaders, who created curriculums for Africans in America designed to prepare them to work for white folks.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who founded in February of 1926, what at the time was called “Negro History Week,” would indeed be inspired by the continuing discussion and debate over the contributions of African people to the history of the world.
That movement, an ongoing interest in Negro history and culture led by Dr. Woodson, helped lay the foundation for the current African Centered Education Movement. The aforementioned movement has become the catalyst for the intense study of Africa and the history of African people throughout the world, 365 days a year.
We should all read or reread Dr. Jacob H. Carruthers’ profound book, Intellectual Warfare. It is a very important, continuing effort for us as African people in America, to educate and reeducate ourselves about our history and its relationship to the important ideas that shape how we see the world. We must continue this effort to educate ourselves beyond African American History Month, and carry it into the rest of the year.
For over thirty-five-years, Dr. Carruthers played a leading role as a scholar and intellectual activist in the development of the African Centered Education Movement.
Dr. Carruthers was a tenured professor at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois in the College of Education’s Inner City Studies Education undergraduate and graduate programs, and retired as Professor Emeritus. Along with Dr. Anderson Thompson, Dr. Carruthers help-
ed shape both the undergraduate and graduate curricula that have become known throughout the country for providing a theoretical and practical understanding of the impact of the political, economic, social, and cultural forces on people who live in the inner cities throughout the world. Of course, one of the largest groups living in the inner cities is African people.
A great deal of Dr. Carruthers’ writings and lectures concentrated on the white supremist’s intellectual assault on African people and the world. Dr. Carruthers was magnificent in exposing the European intellectual tyranny and its impact on the education of African people.
It was his association with the late, great Senegalese scholar, Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop and the late, great scholar /teacher, Dr. John Henrik Clarke that helped propel the genius of Dr. Carruthers’ insight into the “Deep Well” of the African Worldview.
As the founding President of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC), Dr. Carruthers helped shape an organizational format for African Centered scholars, teachers, students, and the overall African Community. He presented a collective vehicle in which to pursue the building of the African Centered Education Movement. His leadership in this regard has been monumental and inspiring to hundreds of scholars, teachers, and students throughout the African World Community.
In this connection, Dr. Carruthers’ book, Intellectual Warfare, prepares us to function in the twenty-first-century with a sharper understanding of our challenges as an African people.
The book is organized into five sections. Part I: The Nature of the War; Part II: Defenders of Western Civilization; Part III: Intellectual Civil War; Part IV: The Champions of African Centered Thought; and Part V: Toward the Restoration of African Civilizations.
In the preface of Intellectual Warfare, Dr. Carruthers explains, “These essays reflect the thought of the ‘Chicago group’ and the ‘African Community of Chicago.’ I was simply a vehicle through whom ideas flowed. Even the mistakes are our mistakes rather than mine alone. The conceptualization of our work as Intellectual Warfare emerged out of the actual battles in which we were engaged.”
In the first chapter, Dr. Carruthers instructs us by pointing out, “Thus, those who have been waging the long war to liberate African history and culture have been fighting the following two battles: (1) an international war against the European intellectuals and (2) a civil war against the colonized African spokespersons who are trained by Europeans to undermine African independence. The war is truly, as Anderson Thompson says, a battle for the African mind, or as Asa Hilliard and the First World Alliance put it, a battle to free the African mind.”
Those who believe in the just cause of the long war to liberate African history and culture must read and reread and study Dr. Carruthers’ most insightful observations, wisdom, and his “Deep Well” of understanding that is shared in Intellectual Warfare.