My Quest To Teach

July 31, 2016

The Chinua Achebe in People of Color and Culture

The Chinua Achebe in People of Color and Culture
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
@wmjackson Twitter #MyQuestToTeach

Chinua Achege

Reading the works of Chinua Achebe opens doors
to understanding how valuable and important
writing can be and the empowerment of
comprehension. Not just on a personal note,
but to each generation that is empowered to
read and write. Each person has a story to
share through experiences, deeds, mistakes,
triumphs and through relationships.

This blog may sound alittle rough, it may
sound condensending and even harsh, but the
intent is to inspire and encourage African
Americans not to accept complacency and not
to bow down to the expectations of mass media
and the stereotypes of people that cannot
related to children and people of color
and culture. African Americans must do better.

The verosity and discriptiveness of Achebe’s
writings are the results of the colonization
of Africa along with his growing up in his
native Nigeria. He experienced the conversion
of his father to Christianity and how the
cultural traditions changed the family dynamic
religious ideology. Achebe’s nation “Igbo”
also changed; Igbo town of Ogidi in
eastern Nigeria.

Chinua Achebes’ journey was as a son, brother,
husband, father, scholar, educator, leader in
his nation, role model and even participated in
political activities that lead him to be
imprisoned and later hunted to be killed.
Escaping rebels, a car accident that left him
paralized from the waist down and even events
that tried to stop him from writing.

Reading his books, poetry and watching YouTube
videos he was not the only one. There were others
that transcended beyond just writing and teaching,
they participated in community and political
discussions not for themselves, but for the people
of their nation. African Americans should use this
as a model to encourage education and learning in
their communties. Reading “Home and Exile” shows
similarities of African American’s and the
struggles they face while still being colonized.

Marching, protesting, peaceful civil discourse
are ways to show disagreements to the events
that are happening in this nation, violence and
death are never the answer for and by anyone.
That creates a platform of increased mistrust and
growing retaliation through violence as is
seen now with gun violence.
The “Black Lives Matter” movement should be
careful in its protesting as to not create
biases in their mission and goals. In the 21st
century to keep people informed there must be
some kind of literature from its leadership
to show the goals, and mission for the people
not just for “Black Lives Matter.”


Included should be a mission to work with law
enforcement agencies, to increase a respectful
dialogue on issues that affect the behaviors
and reactions of those that are citizens and
those that are sworn to protect and serve.

“It began to dawn on me that although fiction was
undoubtedly fictitious it could also be true or
false, not with the truth of falsehood of a
news item, but as the disinterestedness,
its’ intention, its’ integrity.” Chinua Achebe


“Home and Exile” why Achebe became a writer and
guidelines for African American bloggers and writers.
1. first is that you have and overpowering urge
to tell a story – African Africans have a story.
2. that you have intimations of a unique story
waiting to come out – African Americans can use
factual information not just stories to tell
their histories.
3. is that you consider the whole project worth
the considerable trouble – African American
history is a force to create endless stories.
it is time for African Americans to tell their
own stories and not allow mass media to have
them look ignorant and uneducated.


To many are riding seemingly in a car going
in the opposite direction they are looking.
Seemingly to be going some place, but not sure
who is driving, at what speed and what direction.
Too many can only see where African Amerians
are coming from. This is dangerous because that
means someone else is driving African Americans
someplace we do not want to go.
To many families of color and culture have no
plans for family stability, no plans for family
security, no plans for family or generational
prosperity, no financial plans and no
educational plans.

The million or so people of color or culture
seem to have no leadership which has the
best interests of their people in this century.
African Americans claims that racism, bias,
educational and econommic equality are here,
but the rates of homelessness, unemployment
and community instability seem to be growing
in African American communities at an alarming
rate. What political influence or economic
influence do African Americans have that
is consistant?

The lack of a financial center for people of
color and culture and no commerce of inheritance
is a generational hinderance. What are parents
passing down to their children, nothing but
debt and fading memories.
Too many people of color and culture do not
think in a concentrated and coordinated fashion.
The things to help establish cultural strength,
unity of a culture and even a nation of people
of color and culture are a struggle in to many

Reading “Home and Exile,” by Chinua Achebe, 2000,
the lack of unity and unification can open people
to being ruled as was done during colonization in
Nigeria and continues in this nation.
The Igbo nation that Achebe is a product of
carries wisdom and knowledge. Their proverbs
carry much, “every community has enough in its
own forests for all the cooking it needs to do.”
“Home and Exile” 2000
African Americans use to live by this as well,
sharing meals, sharing family stories and
sharing a common sense of pride and purpose.
In this nation too many families of color and
culture cannot afford
the firewood or even the place to have a fire.
They get their supplies from the ones that
colonized them at a high price.

The issue of working to get a fireplace and
working more to get firewood and still
working to get an education has some how
been lost. To many people of color and culture
are too quick to cuss, fuss, raise hell, about
schools, but are too distracted to attend school
board meetings, PTA meetings, School Advisory
Meetings, where school decisions are.
Achebe states that, “Those who were not very
good in school work where of course the greatest
sufferers.” They lacked the skills to contribute
to even their communites.

I never could understand how parents were so
blind that they knew their children could not
read on grade level, could not comprehend a
newspaper, but parents would showup and
showout at graduations proud that their
child recieved a worthless piece of paper
not even valuable enough to wipe
their asses with when deficating.

The similarities wtih Africa and America
are astounding when you see what colonization
did to the minds of people of color and culture
and still do.
Afican Americans are feed images of their
people, uneducated, unable to articulate their
words, refusing to be educated, are washed with
visual images of dropping out of school,
crimminals and slaves either mentally struggling
with mental illness or physically in jails and
prisons bounded by “felonies” that at once time
were misdemeaners or slap on the hands by judges.


Colonization tactics are just as real as they
were during slavery, but in different formats and
media. The descriptions of African Americans
by African Americans as thugs, my dogs, niggas,
and other colorful descriptive tales coincides
with what Achebe experienced in his early years
and puts in his writings.
Europeans describe Africans as “a people of
beastly living,” and other unflattering

These serve several purposes to manilpulate the
minds of the readers and their perceptions and the
actions of those being written about to take
power away. Achebe shows that even in the 1700’s
the British trade in Africa changed to slavery
instead of trading in Africa. Europeans view of
Africans was only as property, a people to be
seen only in chains, captive and without power.
This applies to the prison systems of this

They spoke no language and had no unity, the
world grew to see Africans as this only and
Africans were inferior beast to be ruled.
Europeans even wents as far as to try to convice
the world that Egypt was not in Africa because
of its advance in government, commerce, education
and other areas only “civilized” people would value.


In the 21st century how do African Americans
see themselves in America and just as importantly
do Americans see African American outside of
athletes and entertainers?
The current Republican party seems to answer this
and other questions with allowing only a select
minority of individuals that have a voice, but only
if it does not deviate from the Republican agenda.

This is why I encourage, shout, yell, blog, that
parents encourage, demand, pray and inspire their
children to read books like, “Home and Exile,” by
Chinua Achebe to learn from history so future
generations will not be continuous pawns.
Rodney Hurst’s book, It Was Never About A
Hotdog and A Coke,” should be required reading
in middle and high schools in the nation.


The enslavement and expartiation of Africans
during slavery destroyed centuries of culture,
knowledge and history. African Americans are
continuously mentally assaulted because they
are distracted from learning about their
history through reading. African American
students (too many) fight before they read a
book. How many African Americans understand that
in 1957 Ghana gained its independence
(decolonizatoin) and many nations on the continent
of Africa followed.

The process of builidng a nation of strong people
is to build their minds. Achebe learned that as
he and others in academia understoond that through
education many were colonized mentally by the
very education they were receiving.

Parents need to know what their children are reading
because seeds maybe planeted in their minids that
create challenges to keep them from learning and
wanting to learn. Too many African American children
already think they cannot do math, they think they
are to dumb to participate in science, that only
white people are involved in STEAM. Too many
African American parents critcize their children
about reading and learning. They make fun of them,
they put them down for not being good athletes and
they ostrocize them from the famly as being
freaks and geeks.

Achebe states that writers and even readers need
to be cautious of literary stereotypes and malice
directed at race and culture. There are many
writings about the world, there is literature that
abounds so readers need to be aware of any racial
stereotypes embedded. Achebe states that, a country’s
novels reveal its social condition.” That is why
I encourage youth, teens and young adults to write
their own stories and read each others stories. To
Blog and share content.


“Writers / Bloggers should never cast aside the
humanity of their craft. It is the humanity that
provides the human connection.”
The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola
Nigerian. Ethnicity, Yoruba.



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