Freedom to be Black and Smart

Gregory Davis

Gregory Davis

Lakema & Makeda with Dr. Karenga

Lakema & Makeda with Dr. Karenga

Gregory, Dr. Karenga and wife Tiamoyo

Gregory, Dr. Karenga and wife Tiamoyo

0322141408Whoever said “ignorance is bliss” was wrong! There is nothing blissful about being ignorant. A state of ignorance allows one to stay uninformed, uneducated and therefore unconcerned about the state of Black people and especially Black children in America. My husband and I attended the Black Education Caucus on March 22, 2014 at Southshore School in Seattle. It was an awesome time of sharing what works well for our children in terms of learning and education. I want to give a big “shout out to my brother and sister, Khalfani and Anita Mwamba, who helped host the event. They were wonderful hosts. In my opinion, this event was well attended for a Saturday in Seattle. I am sharing with you some of the highlights from the keynote address by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the creator of Kwanzaa. As a member of a family that has been celebrating Kwanzaa and its principles for more than twenty five years, it was an honor to be in Dr. Karenga’s presence and hear him speak.

According to Dr. Karenga, as people of African descent, we MUST:

Speak our own truth about us.

Respect ourselves, and in a life affirming way.

Have a mutual commitment to shared status, knowledge, resources etc.

Educate the people.

Think in new ways.

We must remember that the oppressor cannot be our teacher if we want to be liberated.

We must accept all the ways of knowing, and be careful not to discredit one way of doing it.

Be sensitive to other human beings and the environment.

Make sure we have given children the capacity to do good in the world.

We have to think about the world…people are taught more and more to fear the world.

We must practice “maat”, an African term for doing good and bringing truth.

The purpose of educators is to:

Discover the dawn and share with the masses who need it most.

We must have a knowledge of African community and the world.

We must know and have a role in the community.

Dialogue with African culture.

Seek answers to issues and problems of human kind.

We must not self efface.

Don’t overrelate to your children and try to be their friend..a friend cannot direct and guide, and a parent has to do that.

Encourage our children to read and not lose respect for books.

Some of us have allowed society to turn us into mindless consumers, walking around with our heads down.

Education, mobilization, organization, and confrontation leads to transformation!

Take a few moments to digest all of these suggestions and pass them along to your friends and family. We will become better together.

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