My Quest To Teach

May 29, 2017

Dynamic African Stories Are Relevant

Filed under: Chinua Achebe,Education,Literacy,Ngugi wa Thiong'o,Wole Soyinka — William Jackson @ 06:30


Dynamic African Stories Are Relevant
William Jackson, M.Edu. @wmjackson
Edward Waters College

Based on the presentation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
(Nigerian author) through TED Talks,
“The Danger of a Single Story.”
African children, each child has a story, a story that
defines their lives, a story of diverse emotional and
psychological dimensions, it is important that African
adults play a part in their children’s developing
stories because adults set the tone for
continued growth the children will grow to
take leadership roles in their respective nations.

Childrens lives are like books and because each page
is blank, African parents need to be cautious as to
what is imprinted on each page.
Childrens stories cannot be erased, rewritten, edited
nor started over. Their lives are continuous pages that
may branch off into diffrent storylines, each
storyline is as important as the next because they
are the stories of that child.

Parents establish the foundation of a childs language
development. The term “garbage in, garbage out” is a
technology term that can be applied to the educational
and cultural development of African and American children.
As technology expands in households what goes into a
child will come out. Technology is
a two edged sword and parents must guide their
children to determine what is good and what is bad.

African parents help to create a storyline in their
children by allowing or denying the infusion of reading
and literature. If parents encourage reading, cognitive
development, appreciation of diverse literary content,
their children will have a well rounded literary
background which allows for strong language development,
appreciation for diversity and promote the strenthening
of African societies.

I do not know the individual academic situations of
African families or children, so this is not a judgment
just educational guidance to help those that have a
desire to help families and children if color and

Listening to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “The Danger of a
Single Story,” my interpretation is for African parents
to understand how they shape, mold and create the stories
of their children because society will continue to
create their own story of African and American
children of color.
Based on the color of skin or the perceived cultural
background. Children will be given a false story as was
done during colonization. African parents
must make sure an authentic story is heard loud and clear
about their culture, their societies and their children.
Chinua Achebe often shares how his culture (Ibo) was forever
changed by colonization. So transformative was the change
that his book, “When Things Fall Apart,” was published,
it resonated globally with many cultures that were
tragically affected by European, Japanese, Chinese, and
other cultural colonization.

Each new day is an opportunity to create a story
of societal unity, progressive educational access and
understanding the Africans place in the world. Each child
is a single story that is continuously being developed,
the story is written on the lifelines that are a trail of
deeds, actions, events and circumstances that cannot be
changed once done.

Because of the dimensions of life our stories
cannot be rewritten because they happen each
second, each minute, each hour of each day.

As Ms. Adichie states we cannot buy into a
single story based on the media (paraphrasing).
“Show a people as one thing, and only one thing
over and over again, and that is what they become.”
In many cases African children have been given the
wrong information and their perceptions of self are wrong.

When we allow one story to be told about a culture,
gender, and lifestyle things can get twisted and misinterpreted.
One story cannot be the representation of a whole culture or
race of people. The media will have you believe an opposite
truth than the reality. Ms. Adichie states that,
“The single story creates stereotypes, the problem is
not that they are true they are incomplete.”
This is one of the misconceptions African Americans have
of each other and the African culture, African Americans
have been so brainwashed and mislead they lost their
connection with Africa. They no longer see the historical,
cultural, ethinic, scientific, medical and global greatness
that is Africa. There is only one story that the media tells
that is inaccurate.

Each African child is important to the story of Africa
because of the capcity for change, the ability to
influence the stories of each other and the cultural
stories that continue to expand.
Listen to the stories of the past African Writers:
Chinua Achebe, Mariama Bâ, NoViolet Bulawayo Tsitsi
Dangarembga, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Binyavanga Wainaina,
Steve Biko, Buchi Emecheta, Teju Cole
These are just a few that inspire, influence and
encourage the African story.

Educators in Africa have a tremendous job to teach
African children about their history and also to teach
African children what their place is in the world.




25 Books by African Writers

Popular African Writers

Top 10 African Writers

March 15, 2017

Bring EdCamp To Africa To Build Collaboration and Connectedness


Bring EdCamps To Africa To Build Collaboration and Connectedness
by Professor William Jackson – Edward Waters College

Kiswahili [another term for Swahili] the proverb
“Asiyefunzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu,” shares
the responsibility of the community (village), or town or city
to raise/educate children.
The exposure to educational strategies, concepts, best practices
and the application of diverse technologies can sometimes
seem challenging when the infrastructure is  still being built.
Collaboration with educators is challenged when the basic
tools are not in place or accessible and teachers with years
of experience are not able to collaborate or connect with
new or pre-service teachers still attending college and
university. Bring in the EdCamp!!!!


Chinua Achebe,
“When I began going to school and learned to read,
I encountered stories of other people and other lands.”
When young people decide to make education a career they
should be celebrated and  importantly supported because the
road to a “master teacher” is difficult and the learning curve is
at times steep. To many people are criticized for going into
teaching especially men. People do not respect the calling of
an educator or the responsibility of administrators that manage
personalities, egos, genders and even generations, that is just
the students.
Diversity in education builds strength in skills and abilities
because this can be applied to the growing student population in
schools that are diverse and constantly changing. How do you
address literacy skills if 1/3 of the students are ESOL and 1/3
may be hearing impaired or 1/3 visually challenged and 1/3 are
gifted. The classroom teacher must address each student
individually and align instruction with their abilities to be
academically successful.
It is common knowledge that schools are a microcosm of
their communities, and African teachers understand their
challenges are unique in their classrooms because of the
lack of resources.

Chinua Achebe (Nigerian Writer)
“A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy
educated, participatory follower-ship, and an educated, morally
grounded leadership.”
EdCamp provides a format in education for teachers, administrators,
support staff to come together and share in a collaborative
environment how to improve the educational culture and atmosphere
of schools. The physical infrastructure is important, but if you do not
have teachers that are passionate, engaging, creative and innovative
in applying academic intellect so students can see what they are
working towards, having stuff will not help. Instruction must
correspond with application to meet the needs of students.
“Learning must be relevant and real.”
Professor William Jackson, M.Ed.

The instruction and the instructional materials rests with the
teacher that is the leader, role model, mentor and guide to academic
direction. Teachers as they learn their students can apply the best
tool to the student(s) for the best results.
Even pre-service and new teachers can benefit because of the exposure
to those with experiences applying best practices and building a
PLN Professional Learning Network to share and support.
In this world of political lobbyists that do not understand how children
learn, the influence of community, poverty, generational influences
and teacher training;  EdCamp is not influenced by political affiliations,
special interests groups, lobbyists or the infection of governmental
The exchanges are by teachers that respect their peers and can relate
and understand the challenges of teaching and educating youth, teens
and young adults.
The teacher exchanges of ideas, resources and developing practices is
able to make trans-formative changes in the culture and learning of
the classroom faster than politicians changing policy that is filtered,
modified and changed to meet the needs of a political promise or
vision that is not in-line with actual learning.
Teachers and administrators understand that classrooms are global
environments of cultures, ideas, lifestyles and the socio-economic
conditions of students.
Education is the tool to take them beyond their current position to
move them upward. The family in most cases is part of the process
of education and because of this, family histories do matter. The
history of African education has been one of colonial influences
and even re-defining the learning objectives for students. Change
by African educators is finding appropriate resources not to just
satisfy a political mission, but prepare African children to be the
smart creatives and innovators Africa needs.

Chinua Achebe affirms the educational function of literature
and establishes a human context for understanding modern
African history.
In Survey of World Literature, 1992
Education serves a vital purpose in understanding where Africans
have come from and it helps direct where Africans are going in
relation to the direction of global business, commerce, technology
and finance.
EdCamp can provide the missing pieces to teacher development
that cannot be influenced by one day professional development.
The African proverb, “It takes a village to educate a child,” brings
higher value to the creation of EdCamp on the African continent.
If teachers do not prepare students to sit at the tables of
business, commerce, finance and education then students will
be left behind and out of the decision making process of building
communities and prosperity for its citizens.
As a professor teaching Educational Technology in the Education
Department and Urban Studies at Edward Waters College and
teaching 27 years in public education, professional development
and networking are important to the growth and development
of new and seasoned teachers that need seasoning.
One cannot exhist without the other.
Kijita (Wajita) “Omwana ni wa bhone,” meaning regardless of a
child’s biological parent(s) its upbringing belongs to
the community.

EdCamp and WordCamp in Africa

EdCamp and Why Teachers Should Care



EdCamp Accra

Putnam County March 25, 2017

Branford April 22, 2017

Volusia April 8th

WordCamp Jacksonville 2017

Past EdCamps in Florida from 2015 to Present


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.


July 15, 2016

Part 1 and Part 2 Chinua Achebe and How to Build a Blog

Part 1 and Part 2 Chinua Achebe and How to Build a Blog
by William Jackson
Edward Waters College


“writers have to recognize the works of the
artist and those of the activist. Creating
content is more than just throwing words,
video, pictures on a digital sheet of paper.
There is serious intellectual thought during
the writing process. Sometimes writing
will be in a zone of creativity and innovation
to create new content that has an intended
outcome, but sometimes the outcomes are unknown.”
William Jackson
National and international Blogger and Speaker

“There is a story I needed to tell”
Chinua Achebe “African Voices”
The writings and interviews of Nigerian writer,
poet, storyteller, academic and parent are
transferable to the art of blogging.

Telling a story is not dependent on the
platform whether it is digital or the
traditional paper platforms. Creating a
story comes from the need to share
information that a person thinks is
important and valuable. There is an effort
to put information down that you feel
will benefit others.

Writers like Achebe from Nigeria, Africa,
even though he has passed are able to
transfere the passion of writing to bloggers
because those that blog share on a platform
that is connected globally. Information is
shared at the speed of thought on platforms
like WordPress/Blogger, Microblogging also
known as Twitter, Pinterest, Podcasting
where content is downloaded to digital
devices and even on audio/video platforms.

Lessons need to be shared with new
generations of bloggers, content creators,
thought leaders, innovators, creatives as
each generation has a story to tell.
Successful “bloggers” which is a term
that is transferable across platforms
should understand the past history of
storytelling and the connection of
embracing personal experiences.


Time for African Americans and Africans
to tell their stories.
1. African American and African writers
need to understand things need to be
done to help their communities instead
of complaining and using Social Media
to “throw people under the bus.”

2. African American and African writers
need to understand their place in the
world. That they have a responsibility
to tell their story.

3. African American and African writers
need to understand who their inspirations
are. Who infleunces their growth and
share that knowledge.

4. African American and African writers
need to understand if they do not write
truth to life they are creating a “Gap
in the Bookshelf” in the stories of people
of color and culture.

5. African American and African writers
need to understand the importance of
stories of peple of color and culture.
Mainstream media does not show the “best”
of people of color and culture every day.
It is the importance of bloggers of color
and culture that can collectively get the
stories out.

6. African American and African writers
need to understand what picture they are
painting of their culture and their people.

7. African American and African writers
need to understand as Achebe states,
“fiction can be written as true,” by the
reliance on factual elements.

8. African American and African writers
need to understand that in their blogs
resonate with their readers and create
emotion and action.

9. African American and African writers
need to understand the “human story,”
and the “human condition” to feel their

10. African American and African writers
need to understand that storytelling is
a creative art and a way of influencing
thought and perceptions.

11. African American and African writers
need to understand the importance to stay
connected and grounded to their inspiration.

12. African American and African writers
need to understand it is valuable to be
connected between their research and
personal experiences.

13. African American and African writers
need to understand there is not one way
to share a story. The diversity of Social
Media allow for content to be spread globally
and through divere platforms.

14. African American and African writers
need to understand that diversity in writing
means that bloggers/writers must remain
students of literature.

15. African American and African writers
need to understand that when Chinua Achebe
states, “storytelling is a threat to anyone
in control,” or “seeking to take away control,
the storyteller has a different agenda”
than those in control.

16. African American and African writers
need to understand they cannot afford to be
selfish or self promoting with their talents.
They cannot put themselves ahead of their

Part 2 Chinua Achebe and How to Build a Blog


Bloggers cannot just sit on their asses,
they need to be involved in their communities,
attending community meetings, volunteering
with youth, teens and young adults. The
way to build an online community is to be
involved in the community. Online
communities have a responsibility to
support offline communities that have a
mission and vision to help youth, teens,
young adults and even elders.

Listed are things bloggers need to
be aware of when building content and
sharing information. From Achebe, Soyinka,
and other writers locally or globally the
skill of storytelling is not easy. The
act or blogging is not always easy because
of the intended outcomes can be varied and
the audiences ability and willingness of
listening and engaging.

African Americans and African Writers
need to blog to tell their stories. No one
else can do that. The history of colonization,
slavery, Civil Rights, Racism, Colorism,
raising children of color and culture all are
stories that need to be told. For to long mass
media has told the false, half truths, lies and
fallacies of African Americans, Africans and
others of color and culture.

17. African American and African writers
need to understand they have a cultural
responsibility to protect their culture
from being mentally colonized and enslaved.

18. African American and African writers
need to understand it is important to
keep a mind open to embrace creativity
and imagination.

19. African American and African writers
need to understand they cannot allow
others to tell one side of a story, nor
create a false story.

20. African American and African writers
need to understand their power in creating
memories through their writing.

21. Chinua Achebe, “I write because I enjoy it.”

22. African American and African writers
need to understand they should be inspiring,
encouraging, and engaging other writers of
color and culture who want to be writers.

23. African American and African writers
need to understand that their volunteering
and speaking to children, teens and young
adults encourages “children to fly,” and
“parents/adults must not keep children
grounded.” Exposure is important to plant
the seeds of knowledge and direction.
Chinua Achebe

24. African American and African writers
need to understand they give voice to the
poor, the powerless and the stricken.

25. African American and African writers
need to understand when participating
in their communities they must have
a passion and intensity to improve their

26. African American and African writers
need to understand “they need to have an
itch to bring about change.” Chinua Achebe

26. African American and African writers
need to understand, “We have a responsibility
to make our stories known.” Chinua Achebe

27. African American and African writers
need to understand as writers of truth
caution is not getting caught up in
political, religious, cultural and social
agendas and lies.

28. African American and African writers
need to understand in them, “there are
novels waiting to be transformed.”
Chinua Achebe

29. African American and African writers
need to understand the urgency to tell a
story to those that need to be inspired
and uplifted.

30. African American and African writers
need to understand there is power in their

31. African American and African writers
need to understand they can depict people
of color and culture with dignity and
respect. Mass media shows people of color
as “creatures and things” not the morality
of life and liberty.

32. African American and African writers
need to be careful of the level of their
writings. Not everyone reading will be a
college graduate, in politics, speak
articulately, read as the same level,
or have the same life experiences.

33. African American and African writers
need to understand they should make every
effort worth the effort of writing.

34. Writers should have mentors and
role models to guide them.


In this world of diversity and culture
bloggers must be careful of their souls,
their morals and values. Their content will
never go away so should be careful and
cautious of how the world perceives them
and their associations.

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