ASALH Power of African American Intellectualism
African intellectualism has been celebrated for centuries,
there is no denying that scholarly learning has taken place
in Africa for centuries as compared to other regions of the
Even before Europeans started reading Africans were
historically using math, studying the constellations,
creating literature and performing medical
procedures. Children where in schools learning trades,
involved in scholarly discussions, learning the essence of
religion, the development of politics and the dynamics
of cultural growth and unity.
There were universities that promoted higher order thinking,
philosophical ideological understanding, global economics
in trade and marketing. The educational models developed
set the foundation in some respects to current educational
doctrine and curriculum of learning behavioral development.
These are historical facts that all African American’s need
The ASALH Conference embraces the intellectual spirit of
Africa in its educational and cultural engagement that not
only is teaching the factual history of African Americans,
promoting cultural pride, intellectual awareness, building
cultural self respect (esteem), providing opportunities for
youth to interact with scholars of African American history
and showing that African American engagement has shaped
the history of the United States of America.
Many people question why African Americans are emotional
in their speaking, preaching, teaching, marching and even
protesting for equality; it only takes the studying, reading,
listening and engagement in scholarly discussion about African
American contributions to this country will people of other
races comprehend the passions that African Americans have
for the improvement and progression of the United States
African Americans in many cases are descendents of Africans
that where brought here as slaves, but after years of slave labor,
millions born here in America calling it just as importantly “home”
as it is to Europeans that colonized this country, taking this land
from Native Americans.
Without African Americans this country would not nor could
not be as great as it is. That is not to say other cultures have
not worked and been enslaved to build this country, the facts
are documented that African Americans have made enormous
contributions and sacrifices in blood, sweat, births and deaths
to build our nation.
The ASALH workshops are showing the intellectualism of African
Americans that have existed and flourished across this country.
Learned scholars that study African American history and have a
passion to share their knowledge. Attending the teacher workshops
like: “Classroom Scene Investigation” led by LaVonne I. Neal, PhD.
and Regina A. Lewis, Phd., the workshop focused on the creation of
curriculum frameworks on teaching African American history in the
classroom. In addition a discussion on Pres. Barack Obama’s
Executive Order on Educational Excellence for African Americans;
the mission to make educational equitably available to African Americans
and the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
“It was fundamentally agreed that America cannot maintain educational
excellence without educating African Americans equally and equitably. “
William Jackson, M.Edu.
These workshops and dozens more from Wednesday to Saturday are
uplifting and thought provoking. Discussing the influences of the
Civil Rights movement on the educational successes of African Americans.
Participation of students from William Raines High School was key
to the goal of student input in educational reform and modification to
get more African American history incorporated in schools. The ideas
of how to make learning more engaging, interactive, passionate and
relevant are important and students need to be involved. More students
from DCPS should have been involved especially from the majority African
American schools. Another travesty of outside educational opportunities
missed thus setting the stage for more concrete reasons why African
American history needs to be taught in the high schools of this nation.
“African American history is American history,” shows the struggles of
African-Americans to overcome social, economic, educational and
political oppression. There is still oppression that must be fought and
defeated in our criminal justice system, economic development
systems, political systems and even educationally.
Moving forward in civic engagement and civic involvement is the key
to African Americans continued progress in education, politics, economics,
cultural and even environmental issues.
The ASALH conference is hoped to inspire and ignite a much needed
infusion of cultural pride and self-esteem in the Jacksonville, Florida
community and nationally for increased intellectual exchanges, discussions
and promoting African American history in our schools.
My photos of ASALH
ASALH Jacksonville, Florida
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