Hey everyone. So every now and then, I post blogs outside of book reviews. This one is special to me because it brought me closer to my history. Once again I re-read the final paper I submitted last term and looked over my teacher’s notes. In none of them did she ridicule me because of my lack of knowledge or my inability to decide which context I should reference African Americans in my final paper. It did make me realize that I knew very little about my African History. The limited view in public education taught me all about MLK and Rosa Parks year after year. I even learned about some black inventors during the one month of the school season where black history is taught. Even in my abundance of books, I had little about history.
This brought me to the question of why didn’t I have more books about African Americans and Africans before being brought to America. It was really a question I had to answer within myself. African history is not usually promoted within black homes. We can usually talk about an array of subjects as long as we aren’t asked questions about African history beyond what is taught in school. Is it therefore the parents responsibility to teach our children the African history that they won’t otherwise get often without attending an HBCU or school that offers African American history beyond slavery?
I made a conscious decision to start learning more about my ancestors beginning with my DNA test. That wouldn’t nearly be enough though. I had to know more. Knowing the difference between when Africans became known as African Americans and/or blacks while it may seem minuet to some, it is important in understanding the history of those within the African Diaspora. I it culturally enriching to study places like Ghana or Cameroon which both appeared on my DNA test results. I’d like to visit Ghana one day or move there but who knows where time will take me. I also love how engaged my children are in studying the African Kings and Queens book or learning to count in Swahili. Some black owned bookstores carry books on Africa but most were sold out at the time that I needed them, so I get most of our books through Amazon, local thrift stores and or black owned businesses on Amazon. It’s important that African American parents, even interracial couples teach their children about their African heritage and not just the history taught in American history classes. There were many great African Kings and Queens to be studied. We have to begin to promote positive self images within our own homes and communities and it starts with each and everyone of us.
Until next time,
Peace & Love
Books mentioned links here: (I’ll do a blog of all our favorite African American children’s books later)