Reading, Writing and Arithmetic: African Americans Get It Together
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Parent, Educator, Blogger, Speaker
Community Activist, Mentor
Children, youth and teens embrace the diversity and
creative characteristics of STEM and learn to be
innovative in their words, phrases, and extension of
their views in society. It is wonderful to see a teen
excited about reading, writing and the process of
arithmetic, these are the areas that promote career
Through the results of slavery, past and present and
colonization African Americans have been lead in ways
that have created separation and confusion within
themselves and within their communities.
What needs to be changed is the value and empowerment
of education in the African American community.
Education starts at home, the appreciation of learning
should start a birth when parents are reading to their
infants and toddlers as they grow.
African American children need to learn more about
themselves and their history. How will they know where
they are going if they do not know where they came from.
**Colonization has efficiently destroyed African American
children’s desire to learn their heritage in America and
their past. Those born during the 90’s and after seem to
have no desire to learn or to encourage their children
to study the past related to Africa.
African American children need to learn about diversity
and how it will affect their future in education and
employment. We live in a global economy so children
of color and culture need to be prepared.
**Too many times you hear African American children
share who or what they do not like, who they don’t want
to be near. This sets them up for failure as the diversity
of the work place increases.
**We are in a global economy and African American
children will have to work with people from all backgrounds.
If they cannot adapt and accept this they will struggle with
their identities and acceptance of others.
African American children need to see their family go to
work. They need to see people of color and culture get
up early and prepare themselves for the day’s business
of working to accomplish a goal.
**When you hear that African American children refuse
to get up and go to school or teens complain about getting
up to go find work this sets them up for failure and struggle.
That places a burden on their families as well because they
have to take care of children that were not given an
incentive to work for their wellbeing.
African American children that are not disciplined in the
value of education and the value of work grow up to
be lazy African American children and lazy African
**One of the burdens of African American
parents is to raise children that do not see the value
of education and the value of preparation for
employment. Too many children of color and
culture are losing their values and parents are
not teaching survival skills.
**Children of color and culture must be taught
early to value being educated and starting their
careers to improve their lives away from home.
**Parents have to teach their children how to live
away from home.
African American children must be provided role
models of success to be successful themselves and
have a visual representation of what success is.
**Children must see success to model certain
behaviors of success.
**African American children must be taught the
terminology of success. If they want to be doctors,
learn to speak like doctors.
African American children need to be taught the
benefits of a routine, to be consistent and have
organization, responsibility and accountability.
**Before getting out on their own children of
color and culture often face challenges that
come from not being taught to be responsible
and accountable for their actions and behaviors.
**Parents need to expose their children to events,
activities, venues and places of diversity and
African American children need to understand
information can be passed down from generation
to generation. Parents sometimes
forget they are their children’s role models.
**Children will do as their parents do and not
even realize it.
**When a child of color and culture does not feel
connected to their parents and their past they stray
at times to find their identities and role models they
connect with. The danger is when they disconnect
from their cultural identity to find one that is not
welcoming to their mental and spiritual growth.
African Americans children never need to feel inferior
to another culture or of another race.
**Parent of children of color and culture need to
take the time to teach and share the value of the past
to African American children. Studying the great
history of Africa and their contributions to the world.
**Too many children of color and culture deny the
darker color members of their culture because
colonization and slavery have brain washed them
into thinking that lighter skinned people are better.
African American parents need to monitor what their
children are watching and listening to so they
may intervene when negative images are shown.
**The media displays people of color and culture
as irresponsible, lazy and dangerous. Many times media
will use people of color and culture when it is beneficial
to their needs.
**African American parents need to analyze where
their children are getting their information from
about them and show them the truth.
African American parents need to explain violent
images shared on television that those images
are not true images of people of color and culture.
**Images from Empire and other entertainment
are not true representations of people of color and
**Images from violent movies and television are
sending the wrong messages that failure is to be
expected from people of color.
**The media shows other people being successful,
happy and children are blessed and happy.
*In media; music, movies and stories, children of
color and culture are always poor and guilty.
African American parents need to set a foundation
of structure for education and career planning.
**Those children with structure and have a plan
meet with less confusion and less stress than those
who travel through life without a plan and no structure.
**Setting a tone for structure comes with personal
discipline and responsibility. There is a time to study,
a time to work, a time to prepare, a time to follow
and a time to lead.
African American children need to be taught “why”
they are charged to do things. Each generation is
different and exposure to dangers that were not
a problem just years ago.
**Parents must not give up, they must steer children
in the right direction.
African American parents must teach their children
about the value of worship, not just what worship
is, but the importance of study and building a
**There is a fire and passion children of color
and culture must have for worship. It must be
taught why they attend church, not why you have
to go to church. How to apply what is learned in
worship of real life issues.
**Children of color and culture must be taught
how to create an individual relationship with God
and the value of worship.
**Parents will be held accountable for their
The value of reading, writing and arithmetic can
be seen in careers that embrace STEM and STEAM.
Parents of color and culture must prepare their
children for learning or they will be left behind,
not because they cannot perform, but because
parents are irresponsible and ignorant to the
value of education.