My Quest To Teach

June 6, 2016

How Do You Change African American Communities Part I


Corrections to this blog!!!
Thanks to @oJaison for seeing my typos and wrong information about
Ngugi wa Thiong’o is Kenyan, not Nigerian.

How Do You Change African American 
Communities Part I

Lessons learned from Nigerians:
Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and
Ngugi wa Thiong’o
African writers, poets, play writes and
community activists.

The question of “how do you change African
American communities has been asked for years.
The diverse answers range from more federal
monies, to increased investment, to changing
the legislative bodies of the elected officials,
to building cultural diversity and the list
continues. One of the lessons is to learn
from how valuable and important education is
to a community. The recognition of academic
stars along with athletic accomplishments.

The visibility of who the academic successes
are and their entrance into higher education,
starting military careers, gaining local
and national recognition for hard work,
realistic expectations for continuing
education and the global perspective that
education can take a student places and
expose them to people and experiences that
athletics will not.

Lessons can be learned from the Watson Institute
of Brown’s University with Nigerian Wole Soyinka
and Chinua Achebe – poets, writers, political
and community activists show a dynamic
connection between using literature and reading
to create transformative changes in communities.

People of color and culture have a vision for
change that can be applied to many
African American communities across the nation
as is being done in Africa.
Listening to writing giants on YouTube
that have influenced not just thousands, but
millions of Nigerians and across the continent
of Africa to global penetration. Wole Soyinka
and Chinua Achebe share their passions to
improving their culture and national strength
in all areas of national importance. Their
outlooks on life are shared by their parents
involvement in their community at a young age,
their political involvement and strong religious
beliefs.

1

Each man has been culturally and academically
groomed and prepared for the dynamic roles they
play and the influences they have from their
participation in writing, poetry and as play writes.
African American families can take these examples
to improve the future of their communities.

Listening to the many interviews of Solinka,
Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Kenyan),
the passion for their country can be heard.
The desire to serve their communities
and to help improve their nation ahead
of their needs. Each made the
decision to take a stand for their people
similar to African Americans like Malcolm X,
James Baldwin, Carter G. Woodson and others.

2

Prof. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Soyinka, Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o
were hunted by government forces and
threatened with death for
their dedication to a better nation from
colonization by British rule to the fight for
democracy or changes to corrupt African governments.
Listening to the interviews I learned that
African Americans cannot sit back and cry, cus,
complain, and make noise then not be ready
to put their hands in the muck to help make
changes in their communities first. The fight
for improved communities, better education,
employment and increased political influence
start from home, the home communities where
change is needed, the home
communities where schools need volunteers,
mentoring, after school tutoring and a voice
at city council and school board meetings.

African Americans have to know what their passions
and priorities are, they have to have something
they feel needs fixing to benefit their communities
not just for personal gains. Soyinka and Achebe
used their talents to help their communities and
nation through education, to make transformative
changes using literature, writing, plays and
other venues to encourage thinking and unity.

Everyone wants to change the world, how about
starting with your own communities.
“Be the change you want to see..”
Get out and vote, get out in your
communities and get involved.
Volunteer in your community schools…..
Show Up, Show Out and come ready to work!!!

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