Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Consequence of Study is Knowing.

April 27, 2022 by  
Filed under Education, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Many of us grew up hearing the phrase: “Knowledge is power”. As children we were encouraged to go to school and learn all that we could. Education was supposed to be a ticket to a better life. However, what was more important was it was something that once you had it…no one could steal it from you. Education was more than the classes and books taught through the education system. It was understood that being Black in America meant education in a classroom would never be sufficient; outside learning would be a necessity. Knowledge isn’t just the wisdom we gain sitting at the feet of our elders. It requires time in study, research…and in most cases lot of books.

This is the kind of study that is not for the purpose of regurgitation for a test…it’s about retention and building a foundation upon which more can be learned. If we are blessed a hunger for knowledge and learning is developed. In the halls of university, we learn how to fine tune the research process. We are taught more about critical thinking and given access to greater amounts of information that we are taught to process. Being Black in America means there is always a risk involved with seeking knowledge. We are taught that what our mind is our greatest weapon, and there is a responsibility and danger in knowing. That risk increases when you are a woman. However, there are consequences to study, and gaining knowing that many of us never know can come for us.


Parents send their children off to school instructing them to learn all that they can. The question we must grapple with is, what is the expectation of having learned? One would think is to go out and get the knowledge so that we can bring it back and share as much of it as possible. Since when did we decide speaking to what you know, not one’s opinion, would deem you disrespectful, or out of one’s place? Since when does that make one a know-it-all incapable of being taught nothing? Let’s acknowledge one of the obvious thoughts, yes, we have those people that go get an education, or not, but think they know absolutely everything. With that, we have elders that believe their age and experience alone qualifies them on every matter when there are experiences, they haven’t had. We know the person in the family that seeks to talk over everyone, because they feel the louder they are the stronger and more accurate they are.  People with these habits make communicating and having critical discussions difficult. With those types addressed, it is unfortunate when we shut down those in our circle because they don’t share the same perspective we do; the reason they don’t is because they have information others in the conversation don’t have.

In this space the intelligence of the family/community member is then weaponized against them. Insecurities and need for control is projected on someone that is simply bring back the knowledge they were sent to receive. When knowledge that is bought back that challenges beliefs, religious indoctrination, gender beliefs, opinions, or what is deemed control those sharing become labeled know it alls, arrogant, unteachable, and/or out of order. Heaven forbid you’re a woman because now you are also unlady like, don’t know what you’re talking about, and are automatically challenging authority. This treatment of those that obtain and continue to seek knowledge is damaging to their confidence, and spirit. One could begin to wonder if their only role is to agree with whatever is said, but also defend with information when it validates others. This leads to the situation of not being able to speak to any knowledgeable matter…only the ones whereby the information validates and empowers those that are in authority.

It is unfortunate that one of the consequences of diligent study can simply be knowing. That might sound odd, but having information and sharing it within family, respectfully, in open conversation can quickly turn into an attack on one’s person and intelligence. This behavior can push away those that we need most in out family and community. It can drive them away from places of worship, family gatherings, and send them seeking validation and acceptance in spaces that could actually be dangerous. We can’t sit back and celebrate leaders in our history and community that have learned and taught our people while berating the scholars in our own family. This is a consequence that should not exist. It is important to know the next generation is watching when the scholar is shunned, and they may choose a different path to avoid said outcome. They won’t care if knowledge is power…they won’t be willing to pay the price of being what appears to be a villain within their own family.

Staff Writer; Adonicka Michele

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