Frederick Douglass, at the twenty-third anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, stated that “Education, the anchor for a society where justice and liberty are secure, is a very dangerous thing for society when oppression and injustice are present…”
Douglass knew that in order for black people in America to survive, they had to be educated because it was the one area that could make the weak person strong and the black person equal.
This is also true today. The statistics say that the dropout rate between black 18 to 24-years-old is a record low and many African-American teenagers are highly interested in taking the GED exam if they, for some reason, didn’t get their HS diploma. But that wasn’t always the case.
By the time the modern-day Civil Rights Movement started, its leaders already knew that education was knowledge, and that knowledge was power. In order for black people to gain their equality, they would have to have a solid foundation to stand on, and that foundation would be education.
William and Mary Houston understood this well and they made sure that their only child, Charles, received the best education they could offer him. Charles Houston would grow up to become a very important factor in the Civil Rights Movement by, indirectly, helping to desegregate American schools, giving black people the chance to achieve the same level of education that white people received.