Afro-Centered books and activities that serve as both introductions and immersion into important aspects of African/Black culture. .who WE are. .
I embrace what many of our great ancestry passed down to us as fuel to propel us FORWARD. Most importantly, that we, as a people, cannot map a progressive path forward without knowing and understanding who, what, and where we came from. The glory of our past is the potential in our present; Sankofa.
We live in “the information age”, and yet, it seems that access to accurate history is more elusive now than ever before. The deficiencies in our education system – specifically as it relates to an accurate teaching of “Black” history and critical historical characters – creates a rift between our ancestors and those of us who exist in the present, charged with continuing the legacy of our ancestors.
The two most powerful words in this book are “I am”. “I am” is a declaration. “I am” is an assertion of identity. “I am” is a deliberate positioning within history and within the present. To read this book declaring “I am” to so many amazing, impactful Black women throughout history is both refreshing and reassuring. They span every sphere and sector – every profession and vocation. There really is no limit to the heights Black women around the world and throughout history, have attained; nor the obstacles they have overcome. As I read this book, I felt the connection with each woman – many of whom we may hear about in passing without realizing the impact they had on society both then, and now.
Reading the declarative “I am” is a rejection of the popular messages about the value of Black women dished out in mass media, music, and oftentimes through our educational institutions. The declarations of “I am” and descriptions of these amazing women in history are a radical refusal to succumb to a society that would seek to diminish and marginalize these powerful women – and therefore seek to diminish and marginalize us.
This book is essential for every person – youth or adult – to read, no matter their gender and, quite frankly, no matter their race. It cleverly, succinctly, and artfully gives us a robust history lesson that is inspiring, affirming, and necessary if we are to successfully advance the legacies of those who came before us.
- Amarachuku Enyia -
Bernard Creamer has taught History and is currently a school administrator who has worked on the front lines in inner-city schools in Chicago, Dallas and Washington DC. He has an undergraduate degree in Political Science/Sociology from the University of Illinois and has earned M.Ed. degrees from National-Louis and Concordia Universities His experience working with inner-city youth has led to his increased understanding of the importance of our history and how that importance has been lost in educating/empowering our children. He also organizes with the Clear the Airwaves Project to address the media (radio’s) audio assault on our children. In addition, Bernard works with the National Black Leadership Alliance, recently contributing to the creation of a "Code of Behavior" to be distributed among our people in the hope that we will evolve a progressive, universally accepted standard among us that speaks to the way we engage our struggle and hopefully enhances the respect and valuation we place on one another.
- Kwabena Sakidi Jijaga Rasuli -