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/

October 22, 2014

Chinua Achebe: Power in Writing and Reading

Chinua Achebe: Power in Writing and Reading

Chinua Achebe a world recognized author, poet, storyteller,
intellectual and role model has shared for years the power
of reading, importance of comprehension and skillfulness of
writing in his works of art.
The art of writing can never be marginized or down played.
Achebe has shared that everyone has a story and must take
the time to tell their stories.
His global influence is in how cultures can relate to the
colonization of their nations by others that seek to destroy
and then re-assimilate others into a world that only recognizes
their perceived domination. Nigeria and other nations of Africa,
which is a continent not a country, has experienced decades
of colonization and forced servitude (slavery) from European
influences.

These words expressed in my blog are concerning the importance
of reading, comprehension, writing and sharing knowledge.
As a teacher on the elementary level and in higher education I
see the struggles of youth and young adults that cannot read
proficiently nor comprehend on an intellectual level that allows
for gainful employment and academic success and stability.
Intellectual icons like Achebe and others are great role models to
encourage and engage in the reading process, why comprehension
is vital and how colonization has affected nations globally.

Following the foundation of reading by Nigerian author Chinua
Achebe, “there is value and importance of books.” Libraries are
an important resource for people to help lift them up from social
challenges and emotional/psychological tragedies. Who has not
been inspired by a book, poem or article that engages them
emotionally or psychologically creating a drive and a passion for
learning and changing the world?
In many countries people are not allowed to read and if they are it is
sanctioned by the government. They are told what to read to reinforce
social programming and propaganda. African Americans not too long
ago faced this in the United States as property of slave owners who
benefited from their slaves being unable to read, write and engage
in communication on a large scale.
This still is present in the world even in the 21st century. These
influences have resulted in generations of illiterate people that are
slaves to ignorance. Today people have a choice to learn or remain
in the darkness of ignorance.

Proverb from Nigeria – “Not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse.”

Listening
Listening to Chinua Achebe on many interviews and conferences
on Youtube videos he shares his experiences about the colonization
of Nigeria and Africa. How the educational system programmed and
conditioned the minds of Nigerians and Africans away from their
cultural heritage and cultural unity.
The same happened in the United States with Hispanics, Native
Americans, Africans, and Asians. The cultural relevancy is stripped
away and replaced by ideologies that any other cultures deserve
to serve and is weak and less than the status quo.

Reading and Comprehension
Reading and comprehension are powerful tools to free the mind
and empower it with the free will of thought and exploration. Achebe
exclaims the power of stories and the power of writing. Both allow
the exchange of information that opens doors to broaden the minds
of children and adults.
The story teller or author possess the skills of engagement and
reflective abilities to allow the reader to rationalize and analyze
for themselves. Reading, literacy, comprehension, critical and
higher order thinking are tools the mind needs to make the
appropriate adjustments to information provided.

Responsibility
Writers have a responsibility to share truth and accuracy. There are
always two sides to a story, the truth and the deception. Real writers,
“ambition should be to distinguish between good and bad.” Achebe
What children read shapes their minds, parents should be supportive
and even role models for their children in reading. An important point
especially for African American children is that what they read should
exchange the views that they are “human beings and valuable” as
Achebe states. These view points from Achebe are important because
African Americans and Africans share in the colonization and castration
of their cultures. The connection to each other has purposefully and
strategically been cut, broken, damaged and poisoned. Hearing African
American youth state that Africans live in jungles and huts and eat
monkeys is a testament of brainwashing and propaganda from years
of European influence.

The connections provided and encouraged by reading are real with
building self-esteem and cultural / self respect. There is a global connect
not just with Africa, but with people of color globally. Numerous studies
have shown that children that read and comprehend on grade level or even
slightly below, can increase their levels, they have lower discipline problems
in school, have higher self-esteems, have higher articulation (speaking)
skills, increased vocabulary (access to words and usage) and will analyze
their environment making better decisions.

“A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy educated, participatory
followership, and an educated, morally grounded leadership.” Chinua Achebe
The range of authors from Baldwin, duBois, Douglas, Woodson, Walker,
Hughes, Dunbar, and others are pivotal in shaping the minds of thousands
through their literary works of the past.
Parents need to have a reading library where they can store, highlight,
incorporate, integrate and infuse reading in their homes. Even if they are
not “good” readers they and their children can teach, mentor, model and
help each other. That is what families do; help each other to grow for the
betterment of the whole not just the individual.

Many youth, teens and young adults have a story to tell about their lives
and their environment. Achebe eloquently has stated before that, writers
have an over powering reason to tell a story and you have information
of a unique story, burning to come out and in the process
consider the whole project worth the trouble.

Nations that seek to be influential in the world can only do so by
having an educated society and leadership, the more educated the
better, as stated by Achebe, “A functioning, robust democracy requires
a healthy educated, participatory followership, and an educated,
morally grounded leadership.” Chinua Achebe

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