My Quest To Teach

December 30, 2016

Building African Bloggers and Innovators in 2017

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Building African Bloggers and Innovators in 2017
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Twitter @wmjackson – #MyQuestToTeach

“What should we be doing going forward?”
Africans can save Africa: Arnold Ekpe at TEDxEuston
There are millions of potential brother and sister bloggers
in Africa, diverse people of color and culture, yearning to
tell their stories, developing and waiting to share their
Brands and expand their opportunities to collaborate in
education, business,commerce, finance and global
entrepreneurship.
This writing is a contribution of knowledge to share and
hopefully motivate and inspire Africans desiring to Blog,
Microblog,  Videoblog, Podcast and create dynamic content
within their communities. Their (African) voices and stories
are important and should be shared on a global platform of
respect and collaboration on dynamic Social Media platforms.
To represent the African diaspora and historical significance
of the art of storytelling.
What better way than to share with the world, to create unique
content that is just as diverse as the most culturally rich
continent in the world, Africa. I encourage Africans of all ages
to write their stories, to use their creativity to share innovative
ideas and create content that bridges generations and cultures.
The ability to create unique and transformative content that
can connect and unify their continent.

Following the literary talents of Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa
Thiong’o, Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, Buchi Emecheta, Ama
Ata Aidoo, Dinaw Mengestu, Africans are historic creators
of stories’, poets, and diverse content creators.
African children are learning that through education
they can contribute to the world in ways not available
decades ago.
Colonialism attempted to silence the voices of Africans,
it failed because the voices of Africans can be heard
whispered on the flowing waters and in the air currents,
stories that travel through the trees, and the paths both
dirt and paved across the continent.
Social Media platforms and tools are allowing African
boys and girls to share their stories with the global
community, bringing attention to their lives right from
their mouths and to the ears of billions globally.

kids

As an educator and parent I want to encourage African
children, teens, youth and young adults to share their
stories through the diverse tools that blogging has to
offer and enhance their language abilities, “language
is the way to memory.”
Prof. Wm Jackson #MyQuestToTeach
Do not allow others to tell your stories as was done
during the centuries of slavery, oppression and
colonization.
In the spirit of Chinua Achebe share your stories and
let the world hear you. Chinua Achebe the “Father of
African Literature” has stated many times that the
minds of the people were influenced by the
colonization of Europeans.
That African writers need to be activist in their
writing, to challenge the thinking of Africans, to
encourage intellectualism and activism even still
today.
The thinking and the writing of Africans are
challenging the “emperors” way of thinking,
“because the storyteller has a different agenda”
than the emperor, “Conversation with
Chinua Achebe 2012.”

shutterstock_128237849-620x350

In many ways Africans have a responsibility to
share their stories and share their voices, what
better way to tell truth to life what Europeans have
tried to deny for decades. There was a denial
of building of thought leaders and intellectuals in
Africa during colonial rule. The independence of
Ghana in 1957 and subsequently other African
countries allowed for the potential of building new
intellectuals that in turn will teach others. Sharing
the value of their voices just as Achebe, Soyinka
and others have done, storytelling is a powerful
tool to build cultural pride and dignity.
The 20th and 21st century have opened new ways
for Africans to soar, to embrace the winds of
change that allow for the chains of colonialism to
dissipate. Achebe shares that Africans have the
right to share their expressions. No matter the
medium, the tools, or the platform.
The encouragement of children is important because
as Achebe says that “children can fly,” and should
be encouraged to.
Achebe states that he writes because he likes to
write, I feel the same passion. To share not just
stories, but information to encourage people to think,
contemplate, dream, consider the possibilities to grow
beyond the limited imaginations of those that
do not respect the diversity and the heritage of African
nations or the diaspora.
Africans must tell their stories, share their voices and
build a new dynamic identity for the 21st century.
Africans are more than a people to be colonized and ruled.
They are a people that have passions, expectations, and
dreams, this should be shared with the world.
African voices can influence geopolitical decisions that
will take Africa into the 22nd century and beyond.
Africans as a collective can influence the gaps in education,
in commerce, in the innovation of technology and the
opportunities to achieve more to the benefits of Africa and
African people, not just people from other countries.
54 countries united to solve their own problems can
achieve great things if they unite and speak united. Africa
united as a strong united force to make positive and
transformative change.
These powerful words from stated that, “no foreigners
have ever developed a country, the nationals have developed
their own country.”
Africans can save Africa: Arnold Ekpe at TEDxEuston
https://youtu.be/D70ZybuB-rE

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

South African Bloggers
http://weblogforlove.com/

Africans can save Africa: Arnold Ekpe at TEDxEuston
https://youtu.be/D70ZybuB-rE

African on the Blog
http://www.africaontheblog.com

 

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August 16, 2015

Chinua Achebe “A Text Book Act” for Education

Chinua Achebe “A Text Book Act” for Education
William Jackson, M.Edu.
Instructor with Edward Waters College

“Until the lions have their own historians,
the history of the hunt will always glorify
the hunter…” Chinua Achebe

Imagine a law that did not allow you to read on certain days
of the week, or at certain times of the day. Imagine a law that
governed what you could and could not read. Imagine because
of the color of your skin you were kept ignorant intentionally
so that generations would be treated like cattle or worse.

As one of the founding fathers of literature in Nigeria,
Chinua Achebe and others faced these same restrictions
directed to keep Nigerians oppressed mentally, this leads to
limiting the skill sets for Nigerians and Africans. The same was
faced during slavery for Blacks in America. The importance of
education and being a life-long learner cannot be expressed
in just text, but is shared through videos and even storytelling.
This is why libraries and museums are important, they create
the atmosphere’s for learning and continued learning.

Chinua Achebe at an early age was fascinated by books and
learning, books opened doors to higher thinking that later
contributed to Achebe to writing books that became
internationally known and inspired generations to make
formative changes to their value of education not just in
Nigeria, but all of Africa and globally.

Achebe was raised during a time of British colonialism
where students were not allowed to read books about
history and geography. To learn their own heritage, only
of white characters and history. Achebe states that,
“books have power and influence,” that is why they were
limited to what they could read. African Americans too
are self imposing themselves to reading, and the lack of
reading leads to a lack or diminished ability to comprehend
what is read.
Too many times because of the lack of comprehension and
the inability to read African Americans do not see that
literature can inspire and engage the mind to think outside
of the boxes of ignorance and lack of understanding.
The depiction of themselves (African American youth) as
gangstas, thugs, ruffians, and other designations that are
demeaning and even racists can be found in newpapers and
other literature. The lack of reading creates generations of
children that have no idea of worlds beyond their
neighborhoods, their cities and the building of dreams
to expand past their social and economic conditions.

African American families cannot afford to wait to be
“lucky” in sports and entertainment to escape their
neighborhoods, the successes are limited in these two
areas, and once escaped there is still the need to be
educated in higher education so as to not return to
their roots broken in finances and even in education.
Everyone has a story to tell, but if they are illiterate and
ignorant to the best promises of education they will
never be able to tell their stories or learn from others.
Chinua Achebe escaped civil war in Nigeria, he escaped
but the ravages of war and the mis-guidance of people,
directions and complications of leadership lead to
several million people dying during the civil wars in Nigeria.

African Americans must understand the limits of protests,
the sometimes futility of marches and even the brashness
of invading others in speeches and public displays of
violence. In the 21st century power and influence is
recognized and respected in the application of power
through applying knowledge, economic influence and
political alliances. African Americans must learn that
what they bring to the table is more important and
powerful than marches and protests.

Chinua Achebe is honored as the “Father of African
Literature,” but who do African Americans call the
Father or Mother of literature and learning? Youth teens,
and young adults know the names of sports stars,
entertainment legends that bring about feelings, but
what of those who try to create platforms of engaged
dialogue and discussion on intellectual levels? Have they
been long forgotten because they demand something
that African Americans are increasingly willing to give
up on or too many don’t value?
From reading comes writing, how or who will tell the
stories of African Americans and their history in the 20th
and 21st centuries if there are not enough readers of
literature and writers of history from the African American
perspective. Achebe has stated that, “good writing requires
more than dashing things.” He states that from an
interpretation from Nigeria, “a human is human because
of humans.”

African Americans must support learning and re-build the
respect and value of education within the African American
community. There cannot be just a reliability of schools to
teach, it must be the responsibility of African American
families that are engaged in learning in their homes and learning
in their communities.

If Chinua Achebe can be called the “Father of African
Literature,” African American communities must recognize
and lift up those that fight for learning in their communities.
Who are these pioneers and protagonists of heroic statue
who encourage higher and higher learning? History will tell
and the children of each generation will tell the stories by
their actions in schools from elementary to higher education
and beyond.
Why become a writer from Chinua Achebe….

  1. You have an overpowering erge to tell a story.
    You have information of a unique story waiting to come out.
    3. What you learn in the process of becoming a writer.

Chinua Achebe Interview on YouTube
https://youtu.be/aqeWAVlps0U

10 Books that will elevate your child’s mind
http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/06/17/10-affirming-black-books-that-will-elevate-your-childrens-minds/

Collection of African American Books To Learn about the Legacies
http://s1211.photobucket.com/user/williamdjackson/Books/story

Rebel Mouse of William Jackson
https://www.rebelmouse.com/wmjackson/

 

Are Things Falling Apart in the African American Community
http://thyblackman.com/2013/11/10/are-things-falling-apart-in-the-african-american-community/

November 8, 2014

Building HBCU Intellect Through Blogging

Building HBCU Intellect Through Blogging
Part One
by William Jackson, Prof. Edward Waters College
Historically Black College and University

There are many writers, poets, storytellers and
intellectuals that create and share diverse content.
The content motivates, encourages, engages,
educates and shows that African Americans
have intellectual abilities that greatly surpass
entertainment and sports.
Education; the key to economic and political
growth allows for opportunities in the careers
that African Americans in the past have been
denied because they were not qualified,
certified and skilled enough.

The growth of the Internet has allowed millions
of youth, teens and young adults the chance
to express themselves through the diverse
writing talents that they have and can cultivate
within them. The events of the media are quick
to report breaking stories, but what comes
into question is the validity and accuracy of news
reports and the stereotypical language, linguistically
created coding and cultural references that
border on racism and typecasting.

The development of the Internet has allowed
content to be created on the spot to share accurate
and pinpoint information about rapidly changing
events. The recent Ferguson protests showed the
flexibility and at times unreliability of news reports,
but the “person on the spot” has a valid purpose
in showing what is happening real time through
Social Media tools that transmitted real time events.

Communities are portrayed in multiple ways that
either promote positive events or negativity in
actions and behaviors by it residents. This leads
to HBCU courses in Broadcast Journalism, Mass
Communications, and other courses of study that
dive into news events and content creation.
Sometimes the humanity of a story is not portrayed
when using Social Media to share events, the humanity
or personal side of a story should be included.

HBCU students that are studying areas of communication
must understand that their views and opinions may not
be in line with that of the main stream media, because
of this they must learn how to code switch to show
events as unbiased and neutral. HBCU colleges and
universities have a responsibility to speak their voices,
voices that are critical and should never be silenced because
historically they still represent African American communities.
HBCU’s should not allow anyone to define them or
define the AA community even those without formal
education. Education should not divide us, education
and learning can unite us and bond us. Preventing
inter-cultural segregation from happening by nurturing
future journalist that can tell the stories needed to be told
about the African American community in the light of truth.
This blog is about “Building HBCU Intellect Through
Blogging” because blogging is not confined to one tool or
platform. HBCU students need to learn how to Vblog,
Podcast, Microblog, develop E-books, develop interview
strategies, articulate for public speaking and develop
research skills. I’m saddened that when I present myself
a graduate of an HBCU and offer to speak at HBCU schools
on Social Media platforms, tools and using it to promote,
market and brand many seem uninterested or think this
discussion is not needed.

HBCU students must have a passion for writing and have
an answer to why they write. The journalist Samira Sawlani
(UK based writer) has stated “whether you are a writer, a
journalist or a reader, why do you write? Why do you read?”
these should be answered with a personal passion.
Professor Chinua Achebe, revered ‘The grandfather of
African literature’ is an“aide memoire” of the influence of
the writer, the writer has the ability to transcend borders and
fight the status quo. HBCU students whether independent
writers (freelance) or associated with a news agency can
break the traditional ideas and ideologies of culture and
color. Achebe spoke the language of courage and literature.

HBCU students must write to effect positive change and not
write for just monetary rewards. Their passion must show
through first and the praises will come later.
Achebe felt as published in the Paris Review quoted, “My position
is that serious and good art has always existed to help, to serve
humanity.” As a blogger and educator in elementary and
at an HBCU my “craft and ability” are to show my passion to
serve humanity and God. This is my personal mission:
as my blog is titled: My Quest to Teach

As a professor at an HBCU I see the need to teach writing/
blogging to my students and encourage writing to all students.
Diverse careers, multiple productivity tools, integration of
Social Media tools and platforms all work to create and
share content.
The world relies on information, data, statistical analysis and
the flexibility of wireless and portable devices to access and
share information. Students need to learn how to manipulate
devices and how to use them to create content that leaves no
room for stereotypes.
African Americans cannot continue to allow traditional media
to define them. Media is answering the questions that African
Americans
ask ‘Who creates us?’ it’s as if our cultural self
worth and history is dictated by outsiders. In America, African
Americans must learn to use the tools that other cultures use
to share information.

Chinua Achebe and others that embrace writing and blogging
show that these are powerful tools. The HBCU students of today
must understand just as Achebe, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes,
James Baldwin and others that writing is a moral obligation.
This obligation can be an act of political and economic warfare
by sharing content that is empowering and engaging on the issues
that affect American communities nationwide. African American
issues may be ignored by traditional media, African Americans
must sit down and talk about problems and internal challenges
to effect positive change.

In conclusion HBCU students should be required to start and
maintain a viable Blog and even have a Vblog and Microblog
to share information that highlights African Americans
achievements, successes and accomplishments. Others are
writing about US leaving to wonder are too many still caught
in the intellectual slavery of embarrassment being Blacks?

HBCU students are encouraged to read the works of Achebe.
In his novel “Anthills of the Savannah”; Achebe wrote,
“Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control,
they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human
spirit in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the
university or wherever.”

Lessons can be learned by HBCU students from the writers and
journalists of today; the power of the pen should be used to defy
injustices and preserve our histories. HBCU students need to
start writing and blogging to share their stories.
‘Who tells your story?’

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