Interview with Rhody McCoy

I know that you knew Malcolm X and had visited him on a few occasions. Can you talk about how your philosophy of education, what was your philosophy of education and how that was affected by your meetings with Malcolm X and the responsibilities of education in the Black community.


Well, ah, I had an idea about education and my idea was very simple. The schools were not there to teach the skills, i.e. reading, writing, and arithmetic but to present or prepare a learning environment where youngsters would be educated, that they would be able to read sufficient materials, hear two or three different points of view and be able to think for themselves and make intelligent decisions based on things that were important to them in their lives. When I talked to Malcolm, and had the occasion to talk to Malcolm, as well as Herman Ferguson and, and, ah, Wilton Anderson, we had the same idea. It was not skills we were interested in, because the materials that they were giving our youngsters wasn't worth the time of day, it wasn't going to do anything for their lives. Ah, i.e. alter distortions in the textbooks about Blacks and, and American Indians, all that kind of foolishness. So, what we were looking at is how do we educate our youngsters and, and Malcolm posture, that's what he said from day 1. Wake up. And let's, learn, get, get educated. Not, not so much skills in reading and writing.