The Mis-Education of the Negro
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“If you can control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.”
― Carter Godwin Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
The thesis of Dr. Woodson's book is that blacks of his day were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools. This conditioning, he claims, causes blacks to become dependent and to seek out inferior places in the greater society of which they are a part. He challenges his readers to become autodidacts and to "do for themselves", regardless of what they were taught