How educated were those who attacked the Native Americans, and stole this land? What about those who invaded Africa and colonized that land? What about the mercenaries who toppled India’s empires or the dynasties of Asia? Most of the people who did the grunt work of European Empire building were illiterate, they had no formal education whatsoever. They were essentially barbarians.
Education is very conservative, no matter where it comes from. The educated seek to sustain a system, regardless of how unjust or genocidal it is, the educated always rationalize, they seek reforms but not revolution. In order to bring about fundamental Revolutionary change you have to act against your formal education.
Even those who go to alternative schools, or even African-Centered schools end up being employed within, and defenders of the Systems of White Domination, that’s why the US government allows such schools to proliferate.
Education, when it is formalized, systematized, or legitimatized by Institutional Power will not free anyone.
When you look at liberation struggles, even those that had educated individuals at the vanguard, most of the real work, and the dying was done by the un/undereducated masses. The educate tend to subdue the struggle, to turn it towards reform and compromise. From the early slave revolts to now, this trend remains consistent.
Revolution is about identity, not education, it is about a fundamental transformation of a people’s self perception and definition, you can’t educate your way to that, it is biological, it is primal, it requires that a people value freedom and justice above life itself.
This new identity is forged through action, though engagement, though unrelenting struggle.
When enough of a people go through this fundamental transformation they will become New Men and Women, these people will come together and you will have Revolution.
These New Men and Women will use all tools at their disposal to carry their Revolution, this is when education can become an asset, but not an absolute necessity. It matters not if a New Man or Woman has a PhD or is illiterate, they will not only find effective ways to struggle for freedom, they will have freedom, it can’t be denied them.
If you fail to cultivate this New Man and Woman, all the education in the will not free a people, all the technical skills in the world will not even allow them to elevate beyond economic bondage to their former enslavers. That’s why we have many Black billionaires, doctors, engineers, etc., but our overall conditions as a people is getting worse, the more education we get, the closer we come to extinction as a people.
Note: I’m not anti-education, I am an educated individual, but I am anti-pretending that there is power and liberation embedded in getting an education. No people have ever educated themselves to freedom, or even power, our ancestors came here (in chains) and many were better educated than their enslavers, Jews with advanced degrees were gassed right next to the Jews who couldn’t read in Nazi Germany.
Education is only an asset, or a tool for a Revolutionary People, for everyone else it is nothing more than a label that allows you to better serve your oppressor.