Black History Fun Fact Friday: “In Africa they Didn’t Teach about the Period of Enslavement of Our People.”


I thought this quote was an interesting and thought provoking one to share considering the crisis going on today.

What Crisis?

The one where schools are trying to remove Black History Courses from their Curriculum.

The one where today’s kids only know about Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.

The one where the only Historical Black people most people can name are Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Dr.

What about Toussaint Louverture, general and leader of the Haitian Revolution?

Or Florence Mills, nicknamed “Queen of Happiness,” and one of the most successful entertainers of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance Movement? You know Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, but what of the people mainstream society doesn’t speak of?

THAT Crisis

To the quote…

“In Africa, they didn’t teach about the period of enslavement of our people. They forbade us from speaking about it. They would kill people for speaking about that history. So we were not allowed for hundreds of years to speak about what was happening and to teach what was happening.”

– Queen Diambi: The Queen of Congo

My people across the water, is this true? Not hard to believe with the history they restrict here in America.

Now, for our first atrocity of the week…

My raggedy To Kill a Mockingbird

A public school in Biloxi Mississippi is trying to pull To Kill a Mockingbird from the eighth grade curriculum because the language is “uncomfortable.”

If the language in To Kill a Mockingbird makes thirteen-year-olds “uncomfortable,” then I assume the school district is also insisting they stay off Twitter and never listen to rap music. – Julia Dent

“The book is about life in the South during the Great Depression, specifically the life of a black man named Tom Robinson who had been framed for raping a white woman. Local lawyer Atticus Finch agrees to defend the innocent man, angering the racist white community who subject him and his children to abuse. Despite proving Robinson’s innocence, the jury still convicts him because of the color of his skin. I won’t spoil the ending for you if you haven’t read it, but it is even more violent and sad (but with a bit of a happy ending).”

And if you haven’t read the book yet, do that (and I do not mean watch the movie. Read the book).

>>Click Here to Keep Reading<<

Next up is the Winston-Salem School Board who voted SEVEN to ONE AGAINST a Black History Course

“Black American children need to know their history “not later, but now,” Winston-Salem City Council Member D.D. Adams said after a mandatory African-American history course for the district was rejected by the school board.

>>Click here to Keep Reading<<

and this one goes in depth

 

I shared these same articles with my email list and I am sharing them with you too because I am seeing more and more instances of Black history removed. This is one of several reasons why I write Black Historical Fiction. Who will restore what was lost? No greater person can do it than writers. Someone has to write it down even if through Fiction and Poetry.

The little crumbs of black history they have allowed to exist is being erased bit by bit. As the so-called Black man, woman, and child is being awakened to the knowledge of their true heritage, even what they thought they knew is being removed. A few weeks ago, I was watching Michael B. Jordan’s Raising Dion series on Netflix. Dion was being singled out by a white teacher during an altercation Dion had with another student, a white boy. His aunt told his mother it was time for her to have “the talk” with him. When she told him, Dion said he thought “Dr. King fixed all of that.”

Huh? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

MLK is recent. The 60s was not that long ago and Black History did not begin with The Civil Rights Movement (The NAACP wasn’t even created by Black people. It was founded by Jewish white men.)

Black people, ask yourself why our children are only being taught about the Civil Rights Movement. Chicago Public Schools have been on strike for about two weeks ending today. Maybe parents should consider teaching their own children. It can’t be any worse than the school system.

Image from the movie, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

February is around the corner but you don’t have to wait a whole year to research your history. Here are a few good articles for you.

For The Origins of Black History Month revisit that fun fact here, which I published to this blog a couple years ago.

Here’s an article I found earlier this week written by William Spivey. He was featured on the blog a few years ago about his upcoming book. He wrote an excellent piece on Breeding Farms during slavery.

This young woman is getting a lot of attention of Social Media for being the first Black Teen Author Ever To Write 3 Books Being Used By School Districts Across The Country. She is an excellent example of how Black writers can change things through writing.


Peace and hair grease!

For more Black History Fun Facts visit the Black History Fun Fact page here. If you are interested in submitting a Black History Fun Fact as a guest post on this blog let me know! That would help me to be more consistent with this if I had help. I am putting together something now to promote that but until then, comment below if you’re interested or email me at yecheilyah (at) yecheilyahysrayl dot com. (The post on Roots has been added to the Black History Fun Fact page.)

Next week we are talking about Nina LittleJohn (Yah Willing) who opened a medical facility to treat Blacks in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Black History Fun Fact Friday – The First Black Public High School

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In 1870, the first Black public High School opened in Washington, D.C. or rather, the first recorded school (Aside from Tuskegee Institute–one of the first schools for African Americans financially sponsored by Blacks and Whites but headed by a Black President, the late Booker T. Washington–I do not believe Dunbar was the first High School just as Rosa Parks was not the first to refuse to give up her seat on a bus (LEARN MORE HERE) there is a lot of things that just aren’t recorded.)

The Preparatory High School for Colored Youth (renamed in 1916 to M Street Public School when its location was changed from M Street), was founded in the basement of Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church by William Syphak, the first chair of the Board of Trustees of the Colored Public Schools in the District of Columbia. According to Dr. Thomas Sowell in an article (100 Years After Dunbar) in 1899, when it was called “the M Street School,” a test was given in Washington’s four academic public high schools, three white and one Black. The Black High School scored higher than two of the three white High Schools. Of course, this isn’t about color or race but is used as an example to highlight the success of all Black Schooling at that time.

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Blacks during Segregation were more unified considering many of us had to stick together in order to build communities and schools. For this reason, many all-Black communities, as well as all Black schools, did well. There was a communal spirit among blacks during segregation that sadly deteriorated once we were capable of going outside of ourselves.

Before Brown vs. Board of Education, Dunbar acquired only the best teachers, many of them with Ph.Ds. and graduated 80% of its students. Among its students: the architect of school desegregation, Charles Hamilton Houston, Elizabeth Catlett, the artist, Billy Taylor, the jazz musician, the first Black general in the Army, the first Black graduate of the Naval Academy, and the first Black presidential Cabinet member, according to Journalist Alison Stewart, author of First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School as told to NPR host Cornish on All Things Considered.

In addition, many more, including the first Black woman to receive a Ph.D. from an American institution, the first Black federal judge, and a doctor who became internationally renowned for his pioneering work in developing the use of blood plasma.

The Downfall of Dunbar

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Source: Courtesy of Chicago Review Press

Unfortunately, like many Black experiences after integration, Dunbar declined. According to Sowell, senior at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University:

“For Washington, the end of racial segregation led to a political compromise, in which all schools became neighborhood schools. Dunbar, which had been accepting outstanding Black students from anywhere in the city, could now accept only students from the rough ghetto neighborhood in which it was located. Virtually overnight, Dunbar became a typical ghetto school. As unmotivated, unruly and disruptive students flooded in, Dunbar teachers began moving out and many retired. More than 80 years of academic excellence simply vanished into thin air.”

I agree with Sowell only to an extent. I do not think that “unruly and disruptive ghetto students” are responsible for the downfall of Dunbar, but rather the decline in Blacks students being taught by Black teachers concerning Black lives and Black history.

I remember a video interview Maya Angelou gave where she testified that her school was “grand” and many others of the era who described their schooling as a positive experience. Though not given the same quality of learning materials, I believe Blacks got a better education before integration. Not merely because of segregation itself, but rather because it forced us to unify in a way that does not exist today.

In short, we were educating our own. Without teachers and faculty who actually understand them, their struggles and experiences, students can find it harder to adjust. In Angelou’s words, “blacks used what the West Africans in Senegal called ‘Sweet Language'” which is still used today. For example:

“Hey, there” is used as opposed to, “Hi, how are you?”

The Hey is drawn out and spoken with a certain tone of familiarity as sweet language is dependent entirely on tone. The way that Angelou spoke herself was in a sort of sweet language where every word, even if she didn’t mean it to, sounded like poetry.

“Hey, how you?”

This is not grammatically correct or what may be referred to as “proper” and it’s not meant to be. It is the lengthening of the word, the dragging it out and using a loving tone of voice, a caring voice: “Hey.” It is something that Blacks have been doing their entire lives without effort and is something that is mostly understood by other Blacks and while deemed sweet language, I call it a language of love.

This is just one example of the kind of History Israelite, so-called Black, children do not learn in today’s schools.

As the Black teachers moved on, so did Black students interest in learning, or so it seems. Over time, at least three more schools would be named after Dunbar: Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland, Fort Worth, Texas, and Chicago, IL.

While segregation allowed for inferior educational experiences in some respect (such as torn and used books as opposed to new ones) who is to say that the education itself was inferior? I am more interested in what was being taught behind closed doors. The historical, archaeological, and biblical history of Blacks that I am sure to have never made it in the history books. What really made these students prosper as opposed to the students today?

Dunbar now graduates only 55% of its students according to the 2016 values based on student performance on state exit exams and internationally available exams on college-level coursework, and AP®/IB exams are unranked in the National Rankings. But what do we expect? How do we expect the people who oppress us to also teach us the truth about who we are? If you weren’t being treated right, how do you think that you were taught right?

One thing is for certain, to assume that integration made education for Blacks better is up for debate.

Say No to Charlie

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In 1988, a demonic entity named Charles Lee Ray, nicknamed Chucky, possessed a doll. It was the first time many of us saw a real example of spirits using children to their advantage. The mother gave her son the popular sought after toy and Chucky worked through him to commit his crimes. The spirit of murder that was on the man Charles had come to inhabit the doll. We became obsessed with the “cute devil” and still we cannot get enough of Chucky. I believe there are like five parts out now, one released just recently. However, truth is stranger than fiction. Is it any coincidence that this spirit has come back to us? Only this time, it is more than animation and make-up.

They say it’s like the Ouija board but the truth is its worse. The “Charlie Charlie Game” is a game that is being played by children, not just in classrooms, but in general. It is considered a combination of the Ouija board and bloody Mary, but this game is physically injuring its participants.

“Brian White, from Biloxi Mississippi, reports he was attacked by Charlie the demon after he taunted the spirit saying, “You’re not real, you’re a fake, come get me if you are who you say you are! Show me you’re here!”
That’s when White said he was thrown facedown and violently attacked. He said it felt like somebody was slicing him with razor blades.
When the attack stopped, his friends saw that his back was covered in scratch marks…”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jon Santa Cruz / Rex Features (582062k) Ouija board with pointer VARIOUS - 2006
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jon Santa Cruz / Rex Features (582062k)
Ouija board with pointer
VARIOUS – 2006

The reason it’s physically injuring its participants is this: you give more energy to demonic entities, fallen angels etc. when you call them by name. According to history and the experience of those who’ve played it, the Ouija Board conjures up demonic spirits by those who participate. It is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0–9, the words “yes”, “no”, etc. along with various symbols and graphics. It uses a small heart-shaped piece of wood or plastic as a movable indicator to indicate a spirit’s message by spelling it out on the board during a séance, so forth and so on. As a result, this game creates a portal for demonic entities that are given permission to enter. Which demon accepts the invitation varies but we do know something happens to alert the players to its presence. However, while this is bad enough, the Charlie game is worse than the Ouija Board because it is conjuring a specific spirit; creating a portal for this demon named Charlie.

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Contrary to popular belief this is not a game, this is a séance, and this is the part where parents are supposed to wield their authority and take away this stumbling block from the minds of their children. We sit back and we laugh at horror movies and pretend they have no bearing on reality. We sit back and laugh at violent movies and yet make children cover their eyes when a man and woman embrace in a warm kiss. I am not promoting soft porn, but what I mean is a simple engagement of husband and wife is shielded from them, but the slicing off of a man’s head is not. We have taken away what is natural and subjected our children instead to the unnatural. If your child does not know not to participate in this game, if he or she does not understand the dangers involved, if he or she does not understand why this is not a good idea, then it is your fault as parent. You see it is time for parents to start taking responsibility for the mental, spiritual, and physical upbringing of their children. It’s not just about bad kids running around, it is about raising up a child in the way they should go. And if we are not doing this, then Charlie will become a permanent fixture in your child’s life and you will wonder how he or she became so wayward. It is because you allowed them to conjure up demons and wicked spirits and they have followed them around from childhood to adulthood. Yes, it’s this serious.

I’m not going to give the details of this portal opening experience because you really can just Google it. But whatever you do, please teach your children to just say no to Charlie.They do this by not giving energy to it. Do not mock it, and do not play around with it. Just stay away from it.

Uncommon Core

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Yea, 2 + 2 used to equal 4. But thanks to uncommon core, it can equal 5 if that will make the children feel better. What I don’t understand though is all the drawing stuff. Like, if there’s a math problem of: 9 + 7 =? why does the student have to draw circles to figure that out? If you never teach them how to compute in their heads they’ll never truly learn. What is a reasonable answer? What’s the purpose of learning about reasonable answers when the only thing that matters in the real world is the right answer? Why go through all of this to get the answer.

Let’s not talk about Look-See reading though. I was tutoring this one kid who brought in a list of words she was to pronounce, except they weren’t real words. They were a conjunction of letters that actually made no word at all, yet these were the “words” the child was supposed to use to learn to read. For example: “bgu” < words like that instead of words like “cat”. I couldn’t believe it. I had never seen anything like it in my life and had I not seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe this post if I was you either.

But I’m not that surprised. The truth is this isn’t something new, but they are finally openly admitting that they’re dumbing kids down. Common Core is not a new phenomenon, but it actually has many names, some of which are: Outcome Based Education or OBE, Schools without Failure, Mastery Learning, etc. All of these same programs, going all the way back to the 20s, is the same system of education that has been used in the U.S. since it’s inception. Interestingly enough, with all these different name changes, Common Core is just the right title for this program…. there is truly nothing uncommon about it.

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Learning Disabled: A Manmade Disease

One of the duties I perform almost daily, about 2-3 times a week (it used to be 5), is that I provide tutorial services to children, primarily in the area of literacy—reading, writing, and vocabulary. I have also Home Schooled children for three years prior to my tutorial services, who ranged anywhere from Kindergarten to 6th grade. Needless to say, I rather enjoy teaching children; it involves my two most favorite things: teaching and children (obviously). We even do a Lecture presentation on the Dumbing Down of the Educational System, primarily its relation to black youth. We’ve presented in Kentucky, Chicago (my home town…south side! < in my Chicago voice, if you ain’t from the Chi don’t worry, you won’t get the joke), Baltimore, and Houston to name a few. In my experience, I’ve learned so much about how children learn and some of the valuable methods needed to assist them in this endeavor. I still don’t consider myself an expert, but what I’ve come to research and to understand by way of hands on face to face experience has taught me a lot. And today I would like to speak briefly on learning disabilities because there is simply no such thing.

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Certainly, there are indeed children who have a much more difficult time reading and writing than others. As early as 1867, a German teacher of the deaf founded a school for slow learning children. Accordingly, these children’s memories were too weak to remember letters and due the poor motor coordination of their fingers they had difficulty learning how to write. So the teacher understood he must implement remedial reading methods. This did not mean however, that these children were mentally retarded. The moral of the story is that problems with learning have always been around, the question is, when did the idea of a “neurological dysfunction” called herein Learning Disabled, become the term to which we apply to children who learn at a slower pace than others? And does a Learning Disability actually have anything to do with how they learn in the first place?

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A disease is an illness caused by a virus that has attacked the immune system, and on April 6, 1963, a new disease was implemented in Chicago that had its roots in the south, that would very soon be given to millions of black schoolchildren before ballooning into a worldwide epidemic. It was said to have been hidden deep inside the neurological system according to psychologist. What we didn’t know however, was these were the same psychologist who had been studying the brain and central nervous system in search for man’s soul since the time of Wilhelm Wundt, founder of experimental psychology back in the 18th century. Wundt believed that man didn’t have a soul living inside of him, and as such he was no different than an animal whose actions are almost always reactions. That is, man’s behavior is only determined by his surroundings and can thus be altered by way of stimulus-response; provide the right stimuli, get the right response. In short, he can be programmed like an animal in a laboratory. So, fast forward to the 1960’s when scientist and psychologist began to back the promotion of one of the most deadly diseases now plaguing not just the so called African American community, but communities in general. The United States Government would spend billions of dollars on this new affliction over the next 20 years.

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In 1963,  nine years after the Brown vs. Board of Education verdict of 1954, that stated that racial segregation of children in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (FYI, the decision did not fully desegregate public education in the United States, though galvanizing the Civil Rights Movement), The Learning Disabled Movement began taking root. The beliefs that people were a result of their environment had long since upheld the belief that wealthy children of well-to-do neighborhoods would flourish academically, while poor children of impoverished neighborhoods would not. Of course, we have to keep in mind that this was during the Civil Rights Era and that (even until this day) there are certain code words that are often used to represent a certain group of people so that the declarations remain politically correct, and are not cause for concern. What was meant by this is simply that rich white kids in the suburbs would do better than poor black kids in the ghettos academically. However, in the 1960s, parents of white children saw a drop in their children’s IQ’s and academic success. They saw that their children too, were not performing very well. And since psychologist had long since experimented with the brain and nervous system enough to provide the statistical data to “prove it”, these parents formed The Learning Disabilities Movement, in which there was allegedly a mental disorder associated with their children’s lack of academic success:

“For many of the parents of these children, accustomed as they were to success and acclimated to a pain-free educational scheme, these results seemed fluky. Since they felt themselves entitled to success, failure was an obvious aberration {oddness}. Educators faced a similar problem: They could not blame the low test scores on racism and poverty or even the lack of funding. Students from the most lavishly appointed schools in the nation were failing to make the grade. The impetus for change came from parents first. They could have blamed “systematic social influences on the schools” for the failures, or they could have blamed principals and teachers for ineptly handling neurologically normal children. Or they might have decided that their children were “slow learners, ecologically disabled, or just bored to death by school.” Instead, they gravitated toward the idea that their children suffered from learning disabilities.” – Charles Sykes, Dumbing Down Our Kids, pg. 189-190

There was, of course, no such thing as a learning disability, but the “professionals” sure did clear that up. Put together a hodgepodge of numbers and graphs and people would believe anything. And they did. “Learning Disabilities” appealed to many parents and helped to jump-start the birth of a nation. But this program would soon become something much greater. After Brown vs. Board of Education, this program would become the savior of separate but unequal. This is when we come back to Samuel Kirk, the Chicago Psychologist.

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In that same year, 1963, Kirk created The Learning Disability, except the LD movement had already begun in the south between white parents and the “professionals” who backed them. This Learning Disability he would create however, would flip the script: it would no longer be used as an excuse for prominent white parents; it would become a tool against black children. Now black children (especially black boys), can be separated from white children and it was not against the law. The Gifted program took off around this same time, the 1960s. It was a program to which school children’s IQ’s would be tested to separate those who were highly intelligent from those who were not. The concept of IQ (Intelligence Quotient), which is used in the “diagnosing” of Special Education (a Federal Program), was started by Eugenicist (Eugenics is the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population by killing off those “less desirable”, such as African Americans, as a form of birth control) from The American Eugenicist Society for the purpose of population extermination. Since students could no longer be judged by the colors of their skin, they were now judged by numbers and test scores. It wasn’t until after the Brown vs. Board of Education Verdict of 1954 that the “Gifted” program even took off because it was another way to keep the “races” separate without breaking the law.

 

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Now ALL children across ethnicity’s are infected with the disease of “Learning Disabled”. They have to walk around with the stigma that they are mentally sick for the rest of their lives although there is nothing to prove it. When you say you want your child tested, what does that mean? The test does not tell you whether or not your child has a learning disability. Tests produce numbers; it is not a diagnoses. It’s your signature on a piece of paper that gives the school psychologist permission to tell you what they think, and to make hypothesis or “Educated Guesses” on whether or not he or she thinks the child is reading disabled.

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What parents need to understand, is that there is no “study” that can determine or prove that someone is something called “Learning Disabled” because there’s no such thing. No physical symptoms, no known neurological deficits, no genetic traits, no consistent clinical descriptions, no diagnostic testing, no techniques of treatment based on actual real, factual evidence outside of medications intentionally designed to slow energized and happy kids down and make them depressed eight year olds…. there is absolutely nothing that proves a child has a mental disorder associated with learning. We’re not talking children who are slow learners and need that extra help,  or children who simply have trouble reading and writing, we’re talking about a medical deformity, a neurological retardation of the child’s ability to understand called Learning Disabled, it does not exist. When the teachers come to you with that question about testing your child, especially your boys, start asking questions and demanding results. And finally,  stop signing every piece of paper children bring home from school.