My Quest To Teach

November 15, 2013

The Value of History in Black Neighborhoods

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 3:37 pm
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The Value of History in
Black Neighborhoods
Inspired by the history of
African American schools
in Jacksonville, Florida and
around the nation.
African American Elem. Schools
Many urban areas contain the history of Blacks in the buildings
and structures that have been in communities for years.
Educational and religious institutions are the foundations of
historical development, cultural prosperity and overcoming
challenges during generations of Blacks. It should not take the
coming of Black History Month for Blacks to be prideful of their
place in society, the representation of iconic buildings show
cultural pride.

In cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Jacksonville, Charlotte,
Chicago and other urban areas buildings are representations of
cultural pride. The recent debate on the name change of Nathan
B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Fl. displays that historical
facts are dying in Black neighborhoods not just in Jacksonville,
but our nation. Discussions and historical sentiments show that on
all sides there are opinions and ideologies that come into play
about Black history, heritage, and culture, but younger generations
are not respectful or in too many cases knowledgeable of the history
in their neighborhoods and communities.

In 2013 the ASALH Conference was held in Jacksonville, turnout was
good, but there should have been mass attendance by Blacks.
Schools with high Black populations should have provided field trips,
churches should have chartered buses and community organizations
should have had shuttles and car services. African American history is
that important.
ASALH  Blog –
ASALH  Web  Site  –


History in too many cases is
determined by those that are the conquers,
invaders, destroyers, colonists and settlers.
Watching the recent PBS
special “The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross” hosted by
Dr. Gates respected
historian and writer, so much Black history has been hidden or changed
that lies taught are more believed than truths spoken and written.
Carter G. Woodson stated, “When you control a man’s thinking you do
not have to worry about his actions.”
The actions can be directed any way imaginable today by Social Media,
music and other influential devices of media. Today’s Black children are
influenced by media and do not understand that they are.

In Jacksonville, Florida the debates to change the name of a
High School that represents a founding member of the KKK, a
person that committed atrocities during the Civil War and other
human rights crimes should be an indication that there needs to
be discussion on the images projected to our children white and
Black.  In schools if Black students are not taught the greatness
of their culture and their potential to be successes they will not
meet  the high expectations of their communities. Woodson stated
that, “If the Negro in the ghetto must eternally be fed by the hand
that pushes him into the ghetto, he will never become strong
enough to get out of the ghetto. ” So the responsibility once again
falls on Black institutions of churches, community organizations
and even schools in Black neighborhoods to teach cultural pride
every day. The telling of Black history is not teaching, it includes a
dialogue of multiple generations, sharing experiences. Using oral
history and human acknowledgements; “The mere imparting of
information is not education.” Carter G. Woodson

Respected scholar, historian, and Civil Rights
activists Rodney Hurst
““It was never about a hot dog and a Coke”
understands the intricate connections of key
historical figures that made decisions and
implemented actions vital to understand the
direction of history and cultural pride.
The histories of Blacks can be shared through
the histories of buildings. Buildings in Black communities are no longer
remembered for their strength, foundations of cultural pride, dignity
and their historical significance. As an educator I wonder what is the
fear of educated and intellectual Black students in America; could
it be that Black students will rise up in violence from past atrocities
or they will they finally wake up and truly be the scholars they need
to be, graduating high schools and colleges at 100%.
Which is more dangerous or needed in our nation, an educated African
American community that is united and intelligent or one that is divided
by lack of education, economics and cultural misunderstanding?

The buildings of Black history across this nation should be re-examined
and re-taught; Woodson states, “The thought of’ the inferiority of the Negro
is drilled into him in almost every class he enters and in almost every book
he studies.” Too many school books do not show the great contributions
that Blacks have offered and performed. Look at who built the Whitehouse,
the Capital building and monuments in our nation’s capital.  Black children
have no clue.

Malcolm X: “Only a fool would
let his enemies teach his children.”
The first teacher should be parents,
they set the foundation, and too many
Black parents are failing in this
responsibility. Their focus is on shoes,
music, clothes, sports,

High tech jobs are in need of knowledgeable people, but Blacks
will be left out, locked out and mentally shutout if they are not educated.
As schools close in Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit and other cities,
the prisons expand, police search and frisk and Black children’s rights diminish.
What options will be left for an uneducated, unskilled, unmotivated,
African American Students


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