My Quest To Teach

January 27, 2017

What’s Next for Hidden Figures In The Future

What’s Next for Hidden Figures In  The Future
by William Jackson

taylor-and-mom

Congratulations to Latanya Richardson and her daughter
Taylor Richardson for the success of showing Hidden
Figures in Jacksonville, Florida to over 200 girls.
The awesome story of how African American women
helped NASA to put astronauts into space and bring
them back to earth.
Girls and women from around Jacksonville, Florida
attended representing groups and schools from
around the city. As a teacher I had the honor to bring
several students from Venetia Elementary School a
Medical Magnet STEM that teaches grade K to 5th 
and
a Lee High School student. My only regret is
that I could not bring more.

fb_img_1445084296495

The emotional and psychological inspiration of
this movie demands to ask what is next to keep
the seriousness and the historical value of this
movie moving forward. STEM and STEAM that
are being applied in the educational cultures of
schools is seen as not only career necessary, but
has scientific, business and commerce influences
in this country and on a global scale.
The movie brilliantly showed not just the struggles
of women in the NASA Space Program, but showed
the value and application of their education.
The reason why educational degrees are important,
the value of visiting the library to learn new things
and applying them to real world situations, and the
personal responsibility to prepare for the future.

book-hf

There were many scenes where the women were called
“computers” as their analytical abilities where recognized,
but only later were they respected after showing and
demanding equality through leadership opportunities and
promotions that were withheld only because of their color.
Working with many types of math and integrating
mathematical equations that sometimes had to be created.
This shows that girls and women have the skill sets and
analytical abilities to function in complex and STEAM
areas that demand creativity and innovation.

Hidden Figures addressed several civil rights issues in the
areas of political and educational equality that in some cases
are still being addressed for Black
s, Hispanics and others of
color,
the struggle still continues and there
have been many successes.

group-picture

Girls and women will take away many lessons from the
movie and see how history was changed not just by
protests, by going to school to earn advanced degrees,
learning the laws of the nation, how to speak properly
without using profanity, the importance of family unity
and support and setting goals that everyone works towards.

Another important key is to carry or act like there is
self-pride, cultural respect and intelligence.
 A key lesson
shared is that children  
learned early that education is
the ticket to a better life even when there are
struggles
and
challenges to be overcome.

Even seeing the implementation of “new” technologies
at the time when early computers where not as easy to
use, but there was continued learning in programming
languages that demanded studying and forward thinking.
The movement to gaining educational parity and equality
is a great value for boys and girls of color, this movie is
worth seeing again and applied to the learning initiatives
in all schools to allow students to see the why they
need to be serious about their education and the vision
for their dreams of success.

ibm

Seeing the new IBM computers being used, but it
took a woman to learn the programming language to
make it work sends a message that women are as smart
and intelligent as men, even if those men are Black
or white.
There are no barriers than can stop girls and women
from gaining l
eadership skill-sets and applying the
intelligence to make positive and historical changes.
Parents, mothers, fathers, and grandparents if you
have not seen Hidden Figures take your children and
other children if possible to see this movie that not
only shows the historical application of education
and cultural  pride and respect, that gender is not
a liability
, color is not a curse, there is a blending of
historical successes and  global influence.

movie-relaxing

Hidden Figures opens the mind’s eye that anything is
possible, t
hat dreams can be achieved, and intelligence
is Dope and Lit.
What is next is up to parents, schools, churches and
communities to support children, youth and teens.
Time will tell, graduations rates from high school
and college will tell and the growing number of girls
and boys of co
lor in  STEM careers will tell.

 

September 21, 2016

Africans and Blogging A Paradigm Change

1

Africans and Blogging A Paradigm Change
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
william.jackson@ewc.edu
@wmjackson – Twitter

“Your content is the shining star that attracts and
connects people to your message.”
@sherfranklin

This quote is intended to encourage Africans that
their thoughts, experiences, and convictions to share
their story cannot stop. The opportunity to share life
and cultural experiences must be written
and blogged about to share a true story of African
people, African civilization, African culture and
African history.

Blogging opens doorways to learning encouraging
intellectual exchanges,  building thought leaders,
communities of digital cohesion and uniting
people of diversity. Unifying people even if they
have differences of  ideas, religion or philosophy,
blogging can be a connection. The  connective power
of blogging using digital tools allows Africans to
share content not just locally, but globally. There was
a time the  only stories that came from Africa where
from mainstream European media that did not share
the African story in a positive light, with the use of
Social Media and mobile technology accuracy, truth
and openness can be shared.

4

Africans like Michelle Atagana, editor of Memeburn, one
of South Africa’s leading tech blogs. Her involvement
has seen changes in the influence of writing/blogging.
Stating that, “For Africans, in terms of getting online,
I would say maybe in early 2004 and 2006, that was
the emergence of blogging,” “If you want a magic period,
I’ll say 2008 to 2009.” This shows that Africa
is not far behind in the world, there are challenges in
wired and mobile infrastructures, but this is being
addressed by collaboration with mobile
tech companies, the military and even non profit
organizations that are servicing the people not
just the corporations.

“Africans cannot afford a poverty of thought or
conviction.” Unknown

3

The ability to share real time content, not just written
text, but photos, video and multimedia elements makes
a profound statement of truth and reality in Africa.
American Social Media is based on the “social” aspects
of communication. The day to day events that
Americans go through, in  Africa the scope is much
different, content ranges from economic,
educational, political and cultural exchanges that
influence the dynamics of African life. Youth, teens
and young adults that have the opportunity to access
Wifi or have service providers emulate Americans of
similar age with access to music, sports and
entertainment. The dynamics of Social Media and
blogging are similar, but the foundation is what is
happening directly to the mental, physical and
emotional well being of people in cities, towns and
even the country side of Africa.

E-commerce is being affected, the power and influence
of online information is influencing economic markets.
Consumers are able to make choices that they
did not have before. To purchase locally and globally
in markets once closed to Africans. Business owners
like Mike Saunders, CEO of South African digital
marketing company, Digitlab has stated that, “If you
have something of  value to add to a market, to an
industry or to consumers and you share that value
with people (through Social Media), you can become
very influential with people.”

During this growth in infrastructure, mobile devices,
and even the educational levels to use diverse
technologies Africans are being exposed to a world
where they can have instant connection with the world.
Because of the Social Media world opinions will change
and the mindsets and perceptions of African people
will change, the perceptions of African people will
have to change to allow a more inclusive
and equitable opportunities in commerce, education,
politics and other key areas of growth. Blogging
allows the sharing of ideas not just in text on diverse
digital platforms, thus creating a powerful tool
that influences thoughts.

2

Africans need to continue to create their own content
because Africa needs to continue to grow itself outside
of European colonization. The physical
colonization has changed, next is the continued
psychological ending of being colonized for centuries.
Africans must continue to find their Voice, share their
stories and build a foundation on intellectualism while
building each generation to embrace, strengthen and
flex their intellect, their creativity and develop through
blogging innovative ideas from African young people.

Everything in Africa is a powerful source of content to
be created by Africans of all ages, generations,
educational, economic, cultural and political background.
From business and commerce, industry to education,
movies to mythology, history and culture, music
and the arts, all are fuel for the fire of creativity and
innovation in blogging. The higher education system
of Africa has a daunting task to build
new and empowered educational leaders that will
continue to move Africa into the 21st century and
beyond. Education is the key to allowing Africans
to apply the multi-talented skills needed to forge a
new path. African higher education, must work with
high schools and lower educational levels to prepare
them to be future  students in the institutions of
higher learning or vocational education.

Content comes in all forms so the educational
structure of Africa will have to change in order for
its students to graduate with the skills to compete
in a  global economy.

The comparison can be seen in the power of content,
how the writings of Chinua Achebe can be shared
through generations by Social Media, the sharing of
poetry and short stories by Wole Soyinka and other
African writers and story tellers.
Branding and marketing can be seen in the similar
stories of the Yoruba religion of Africa and Sango,
deity representing thunder like Thor the Norse god.
Marvel is making millions from this centuries old
story of Thor, but just imagine if Sango
was used first, how Africa could benefit from the
globalized marketing and commerce.
The cognitive and emotional influence to African
boys and girls to read an African story that shows
their continent on a global platform and
encouraging reading, literature, cultural pride
and the need for the growth in writing/blogging
by more  African boys and girls.

wole

There are millions of stories waiting to be told
in Africa, it is up to African  children, teens, young
adults and even adults to start blogging to tell their
stories before others grab them and tell a different
version and reap the harvest.

African’s have been denied for to long to tell their
stories, now there is a platform
and tools to amplify their voice to enable unity,
collaboration and cooperation.
Africans have a important story to tell and
blogging is the platform to do it.

Resources by William Jackson
Silicon Africa
http://www.siliconafrica.com/top-tech-blogs-in-africa/

Chinua Achebe Writers Can Be Activists
https://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/chinua-achebe-writers-can-be-activists/

Colonization Continues
https://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/2016/01/07/the-colonization-of-african-americans-continues-in-america/

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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