And speaking of anti-intellectualism (another tangent!), I want to use this post to express (in a wholly non-thorough manner) how pissed I am that some African Americans have wholeheartedly embraced this bull.* The last few times I attended church back home, I got so tired of pastors sneering, "A college degree/PhD won't get you into heaven."
I didn't think that it would.
The implication of course, is that college-educated people assume they are "better" than others. Certainly, some do. But I remember (and not just because I'm a history teacher!) when many black people and organizations believed that education was one way to uplift the individual and the community.** I spent a lot of time with my dad's mother and she didn't comb my hair often,*** but when she did, she'd press me between her knees and to keep me distracted, she'd talk. She'd tell me how smart I was and how proud she was of me. She'd ask me about where I was going to college--not that I had any idea in elementary school, but to put it in my mind that I was going.
So this idea that being smart or educated = selfishness, condescension, and bad, bad, bad is mind-boggling.
*mrs. o reminded me of what seems to be the neverending taunt thrown toward us--that we are "acting" or "trying to be" or "sounding" white, but that deserves a post of its own. This post is just the beginning.
**There has been classism associated with the concept--DuBois's talented tenth, black club women's belief that they were "their own best argument" and the "masses" of black women should be reformed in the club women's image.
***she'd had nine boys and three girls, and my Aunt Jo wasn't going for too much of that hair-combing mess, so my grandmother was not adept at combing hair--much like her granddaughter.