BHM A Reflection on Education and Heritage | Arts & Culture

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BHM A Reflection on Education and Heritage

Black History Month (BHM) is often about a reflection of the past, but rarely a projection of the future. Movies, documentaries, speeches and writings often reflect where African Americans, Blacks, Negros or whatever term comforts displays a brutal and challenging history.


My contribution on the growth of Black youth has been to work on the journey
into the future and using past challenges and successes to strengthen and inspire
not frighten with despair and self pity. Education is the key to achieving
anything you want in this country. Foreigners realize this, but too many African
American youth take education for granted, they don’t apply themselves to their
full potential. Education is important in our African American communities,
sometimes it is difficult to see with the condition of many schools and graduation
rates. Our intelligent and gifted children that represent us with honors are a
testament to the African American culture and these students are successful.

The dark side is our intelligent and gifted children that represent us as a culture,
and model greatness are harassed and bullied by their peers. Humiliated being
calling white or sell outs. The travesty is more African American youth can be
honors students, but would rather hide in the background because of fear.
This cannot continue to happen, there needs to be a stop to this self generating
hatred.

BHM brings out the best in us for 30 days, we put aside the colorism, sexism,
separation by economics, and those that are educated celebrate with those that
lack education. Leaders in the community, especially Churches and Ministries
talk of more college graduates instead of inmates, to make this happen there
needs to be more after school programs tutoring reading and math, more
men/women to mentor, opportunities to provide internships for our youth.
Churches helped Black students through school, but with mega churches
come mega egos for personal recognition not community service.

Churches should provide tutoring, provide mentoring, but the direction for
service has changed. My intent is not to hate on churches, many do a great
job in communities. More need to be involved and parents need to support
not just run to the pew for deliverance and prayer. BHM should culturally
jump start people to intellectual seekers of knowledge and comprehension
of the positive and growth potential, not another month of self pity,
infusion of  slave pictures, documentaries that show lynching’s, the physical
raping of Black women and the mental raping of Black children. These are
true events in the history of Blacks, but why are children not taught about
the accomplishments of
Black Inventors: http://www.black-inventor.com/Black-Inventors.asp
Black Intellectuals: http://ecarson.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/black-intellectuals/

Black girls need more role models, why are they not provided the opportunity
during Black History Month shown Black women that are successful
intelligent, and academically successful. Women like Elexia Coleman-Moss,
Executive Director and Founder of Empowerment Resources
http://www.empowermentresourcesinc.org/ and Sister2Sister Catering
a growing catering business by sisters Cheryl and Prince, that are raising
a family and nurturing their community http://sister2sistercatering.tripod.com/

Black Women Entrepreneurs
http://www.blackentrepreneurprofile.com/successful-women/

We need BHM to instill in youth the need to appreciate Black Heritage and
intellectualism in education and community service. Black Heritage is needed
because of events that still happen as the result of ignorance, events in Gwinnett
County in a public elementary school. What Black Heritage is: Is Education,
Is Family values, and a determined spirit to be better and growth.

BHM must teach children to always strive to better themselves through the
teachings of Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Barbara Jordan, Shirley
Chisholm, A. Phillip Randolph, Carter G. Woodson and others. The examples
set of public service by President Barack Obama (first African American President),
Mayor Alvin Brown (first African American Mayor of Jacksonville, Florida)

List of African American Firsts:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

African American Firsts:
http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/101-african-american-firsts

Blacks cannot afford to groan and complain about the lack of jobs they should
create their own jobs and importantly Blacks should support them. In the spirit
of Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey use any means necessary to teach our children
to overcome joblessness and educational ignorance by being entrepreneurs like
Anthony Butler, Sr. Executive Director of E3 http://www.e3businessgroup.us/,
using the spirit and talents of E3 to Educate, Encourage and Empower, as well
as inspire not just African American youth, but all youth to be the best they can
be in business, education and industry.

The time is for Black organizations and Churches to join forces, to stop infighting,
to discard egos, to put aside interpersonal religious doctrine. A Christian is a
Christian and there are people needing help, families starving, children homeless,
but our churches do not or cannot work together to even save their congregations.

Today’s young people don’t know that most Southern states made it illegal to teach
slaves (Blacks) to read and write. Blacks that could read taught those that could not,
using the Bible as the guide. Education is the only resource available for children to
access in order to survive in this technological world of STEM
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Revelation 3:8 says, ”I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it...”
African Americans, our destiny is before us, but it seems many would rather have
death and destruction not life and higher knowledge.

Understanding and knowledge leads to releasing the chains of mental slavery, self
hatred and opens doors of enlightenment to a person’s talents and potential. Black
History Month should bring a Revelation of Education and Enlightenment; We have
so many organizations and Churches that in some way they should be able to
influence, empower and employ youth. Children need to be taught again as they
were taught in the Black churches of the past that education in Sociology, Biology,
Psychology will go further than education in Thugology, Gangsterology, Hoeology,
Pimpology or Drugology. Black History should teach Blacks that the return of the
ravages of slavery is not far away; learn from the past or be doomed to repeat it.

As an elementary teacher and instructor in higher education I see so much potential
in African American youth from elementary to college. This is why I and others
work in the inner city environment. The work and challenge is getting youth,
young adults and adults to see the awesomeness in themselves. To teach and
model on a level that African American youth can see the benefits of intellectual
pursuits and value learning.

Let us not use BHM again to preach and teach our children to hate their
culture, by watching, killings, beatings, and rapes, but to appreciate the gifts
and talents they have and gain as much education as possible before it is
taken away again.

William Jackson, M.Ed. - http://williamdjackson.com

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