Examine the meaning of the following Woodson quote: " If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition it becomes a negligible factor, in the thought of the world, and it stands in...

Examine the meaning of the following Woodson quote: " If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition it becomes a negligible factor, in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Often considered by many to be "the father of Black History," Woodson's quote suggests that if a group of people wish to persevere and be a part of the record of change, there must be a conscious effort to understand one's historical underpinnings and examine how they impact the modern setting.  Woodson's quote suggests that individuals cannot operate without a historical setting.  Human beings are not thrown into a condition without a sense of the past.  In some form, Woodson's quote demands that individuals understand their own social condition of the past, examining how that history influences their own present.  In turn, this will help individuals chart a course for the future.  Woodson understood that doing this for people of color, specifically African- Americans was vitally important.  He was driven by the idea that African- Americans who understood their history and their historical background would avoid "the awful fate of becoming a negligible factor in world thought."  Woodson understood that for a generation of African- Americans that emerged from slavery, the knowledge of the past was essential.  He grasped that slave owners sought to cut off Black slaves from their own historical identity.  For Woodson, the critical element to success resided in understanding the past and understanding that identity was connected to something larger than the modern individual.  For Woodson, the notion of history and understanding its own historical tradition is what enables a race to endure and eventually triumph over the challenge of the present, something that is essential to understanding the African- American predicament in American History.

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arjun's profile pic

arjun | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

It means a thing that is not important and has no positive or negative effect on nation,it remains no longer because it has no backup and it is forgotten or destroyed easily.

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