My Quest To Teach

January 24, 2012

BHM A Reflection on Education and Heritage

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 4:51 am
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BHM A Reflection on Education and Heritage Black History Month (BHM) is often about a reflection of the past, but rarely a projection of the future. Movies, documentaries, speeches and writings often reflect where African Americans, Blacks, Negros or whatever term comforts displays a brutal and challenging history. My contribution on the growth of Black youth has been to work on the journey into the future and using past challenges and successes to strengthen and inspire not frighten with despair and self pity. Education is the key to achieving anything you want in this country. Foreigners realize this, but too many African American youth take education for granted, they don’t apply themselves to their full potential. Education is important in our African American communities, sometimes it is difficult to see with the condition of many schools and graduation rates. Our intelligent and gifted children that represent us with honors are a testament to the African American culture and these students are successful. The dark side is our intelligent and gifted children that represent us as a culture, and model greatness are harassed and bullied by their peers. Humiliated being calling white or sell outs. The travesty is more African American youth can be honors students, but would rather hide in the background because of fear. This cannot continue to happen, there needs to be a stop to this self generating hatred. BHM brings out the best in us for 30 days, we put aside the colorism, sexism, separation by economics, and those that are educated celebrate with those that lack education. Leaders in the community, especially Churches and Ministries talk of more college graduates instead of inmates, to make this happen there needs to be more after school programs tutoring reading and math, more men/women to mentor, opportunities to provide internships for our youth. Churches helped Black students through school, but with mega churches come mega egos for personal recognition not community service. Churches should provide tutoring, provide mentoring, but the direction for service has changed. My intent is not to hate on churches, many do a great job in communities. More need to be involved and parents need to support not just run to the pew for deliverance and prayer. BHM should culturally jump start people to intellectual seekers of knowledge and comprehension of the positive and growth potential, not another month of self pity, infusion of slave pictures, documentaries that show lynching’s, the physical raping of Black women and the mental raping of Black children. These are true events in the history of Blacks, but why are children not taught about the accomplishments of Black Inventors: Black Intellectuals: Black girls need more role models, why are they not provided the opportunity during Black History Month shown Black women that are successful intelligent, and academically successful. Women like Elexia Coleman-Moss, Executive Director and Founder of Empowerment Resources and Sister2Sister Catering a growing catering business by sisters Cheryl and Prince, that are raising a family and nurturing their community Black Women Entrepreneurs We need BHM to instill in youth the need to appreciate Black Heritage and intellectualism in education and community service. Black Heritage is needed because of events that still happen as the result of ignorance, events in Gwinnett County in a public elementary school. What Black Heritage is: Is Education, Is Family values, and a determined spirit to be better and growth. BHM must teach children to always strive to better themselves through the teachings of Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Barbara Jordan, Shirley Chisholm, A. Phillip Randolph, Carter G. Woodson and others. The examples set of public service by President Barack Obama (first African American President), Mayor Alvin Brown (first African American Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida) List of African American Firsts: African American Firsts: Blacks cannot afford to groan and complain about the lack of jobs they should create their own jobs and importantly Blacks should support them. In the spirit of Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey use any means necessary to teach our children to overcome joblessness and educational ignorance by being entrepreneurs like Anthony Butler, Sr. Executive Director of E3, using the spirit and talents of E3 to Educate, Encourage and Empower, as well as inspire not just African American youth, but all youth to be the best they can be in business, education and industry. The time is for Black organizations and Churches to join forces, to stop infighting, to discard egos, to put aside interpersonal religious doctrine. A Christian is a Christian and there are people needing help, families starving, children homeless, but our churches do not or cannot work together to even save their congregations. Today’s young people don’t know that most Southern states made it illegal to teach slaves (Blacks) to read and write. Blacks that could read taught those that could not, using the Bible as the guide. Education is the only resource available for children to access in order to survive in this technological world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Revelation 3:8 says, ”I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it…” African Americans, our destiny is before us, but it seems many would rather have death and destruction not life and higher knowledge. Understanding and knowledge leads to releasing the chains of mental slavery, self hatred and opens doors of enlightenment to a person’s talents and potential. Black History Month should bring a Revelation of Education and Enlightenment; We have so many organizations and Churches that in some way they should be able to influence, empower and employ youth. Children need to be taught again as they were taught in the Black churches of the past that education in Sociology, Biology, Psychology will go further than education in Thugology, Gangsterology, Hoeology, Pimpology or Drugology. Black History should teach Blacks that the return of the ravages of slavery is not far away; learn from the past or be doomed to repeat it. As an elementary teacher and instructor in higher education I see so much potential in African American youth from elementary to college. This is why I and others work in the inner city environment. The work and challenge is getting youth, young adults and adults to see the awesomeness in themselves. To teach and model on a level that African American youth can see the benefits of intellectual pursuits and value learning. Let us not use BHM again to preach and teach our children to hate their culture, by watching, killings, beatings, and rapes, but to appreciate the gifts and talents they have and gain as much education as possible before it is taken away again. William Jackson, M.Ed. –


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