Ice Cube: … they don’t teach you how to cope in this motherfuckin’ society. Black kids are always going to be disinterested in school as long as school doesn’t teach them what they contributed to this country. The only time you learn about anybody who looks the same as our face is in February, Black History Month, and you learn about the same motherfucker, Martin Luther King. After twelve years of that shit you know the story back and forth. Him and Harriet Tubman. They were the only two I ever learned about in school. Until rap came along you wouldn’t learn about nobody else.
Tate: Was that how you learned about Malcolm X and the Black Panthers?
Ice Cube: Yep, through rap music and nothing else. Kids are starting to compare: I can learn more about my kind on a rap record than sitting here eight hours. School is a fantasy world.
— Ice Cube interview with Greg Tate (1990)
During the colonial epoch and afterwards, criticism was justly leveled at the colonial educational system for failing to produce more secondary school pupils and more university graduates. And yet, it can be said that among those who had the most education were to be found the most alienated Africans on the continent. Those were the ones who evolved and were assimilated. At each further stage of education, they were battered by and succumbed to the values of the white capitalist system; and after being given salaries, they could then afford to sustain a style of life imported from outside. Access to knives and forks, three-piece suits, and pianos then transformed their mentality. There is a famous West Indian calypsonian who in satirizing his colonial school days, remarked that had he been a bright student he would have learned more and turned out to be a fool. Unfortunately, the colonial school system educated far too many fools and clowns, fascinated by the ideas and way of life of the European capitalist class. Some reached a point of total estrangement from African conditions and the African way of life, and like Blaise Diagne of Senegal they chirped happily that they were and would always be “European.”
— Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972)