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 @ 6:30 am

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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
culture.

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.

 

chinua-achebe-2

 

Resources:
25 Books by African Writers
http://lithub.com/25-new-books-by-african-writers-you-should-read/

Popular African Writers
https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/african-writers

Top 10 African Writers
http://theculturetrip.com/africa/articles/the-top-10-contemporary-african-writers-you-should-know/

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January 2, 2017

Africans Are Developing The Art of Writing and Blogging

Africans Are Developing The Art of Writing and Blogging
by William Jackson, M.Ed. @wmjackson
#MyQuestToTeach

“Educators are activists” WordCampNABSE 2016

As an instructor in the College of Education and Urban Studies at
Edward Waters College, the instructional goal is to reach students
to make learning relevant, engaging, fun and helping students to
apply to life not just academic lessons.

Tests do not judge the success of living away from home, tests do
not determine the career success of students, it is a gauge of
academic achievement and growth; there is more to it than just
assessments taken on a computer. This is why engagement,
exposure, hands-on and student lead instruction is vital anywhere
in the world.

Students need to understand the reasons for being a good reader,
why comprehension is important, the value of grammar and the
engagement of networking and collaboration. Accessing videos
from YouTube that contain lessons learned from Chinua Achebe
a Poet, Writer, Mentor, Political and Community Activists;
https://youtu.be/M5OAjnG6rKo involved in the community he
serves and provide a foundation why education is valuable.

The growing TEDX and TEDTALKs allows African across the
diaspora to share their thoughts, dreams, and challenges of a
united and progressive Africa.
It is important to go beyond just interpretation, understanding
and application of speaking, it is important to know how to put
these pieces of education, technology, commerce, trade, natural
resources and build a knowledge based society to use to grow
African communities and empower African children for generations
to come. “African children need to be taught how to be producers
at all levels, not just at the bottom being consumers.”
Prof. Wm Jackson

Stated in the TEDx, “Africa Post-Colonial Development:
Fatoumata Waggeh at TEDxGallatin” Africa must invest in herself
and not allow foreign countries dictate the priorities of her people.
No foreign country can understand the vision for another country
and make the necessary changes to create generational wealth,
progress and build all around stability.

Nations that do not invest in the growth of their children generational
run the risk to not developing into productive nations with thriving
economies, they rely on foreign investors and fall back into colonized
ideologies and economic slavery. The educational levels of citizens is
one of the important factors that plays into if a nation will be able to be
involved in global trade, technological innovation, the education of its
people and even influence the political stability of that nation.

Africans have a unique vision for change that can be applied to
many African communities across their respective nations. Listening
to writers and activists on YouTube that have influenced not just
thousands, but millions in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana Nigeria and
across the continent of Africa. There are important thought leaders
and entrepreneurs with progressive ideas and skills.

Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe share their passions to improving
their nation’s strength in areas of national educational accessibility,
political stability, growth in commerce, the participation in global
trade and applying technology to best serve the poor and underserved.
To effectively engage and empower with education is a key priority as
each generation moves towards entrepreneurship, youth and teens are
developing into smart creatives and technological innovators.

The careers of African societies are no longer just agriculture and
industrial they are progressively being adapted to knowledge application,
tech innovation and research and development. Technology has the
potential to reach millions to provide resources and new opportunities of
learning and workings to provide the necessary things families need.
The discussion of colonization by foreign rule can never stop because the
consequences are still seen today.

Colonization was designed to keep Africans “under” educated, lacking in
political power and even possessing little or no economic foundation to
build wealth and stability.
Africans must continue to apply their passions, abilities and talents to help
their communities growing through education to make transformative
changes using literature, writing, and the integration of technical resources.
“Getting things done is better than having things perfect. Done is better than
perfect. Whatever you have in your hands, get going with it. Just do it.”
Charles Igwe, Nollywood Global Media Group, Nigeria

Resources:
The Importance of Banks and Banking in Africa
https://youtu.be/D70ZybuB-rE

Bridging the African Diaspora
Bridging the Diaspora Divide – Teresa H. Clarke at TEDxEuston
https://youtu.be/sg6F-M6v1iM

Africa Post-Colonial Development: Fatoumata Waggeh at TEDxGallatin
https://youtu.be/s7lmz4UL4wE

Instagram for Ideas Lane Africa
https://www.instagram.com/ideaslaneafrica/

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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