Says Kevin Bullard, coordinator of African-centered education at several schools in the district. "With the African-centered model, we ... look at [slavery] as part of the context of our history and our struggle, but only a small piece." Their timeline includes the intellectual legacy of ancient African civilizations.
Business guru René Carayol thinks we should be concentrating only 5% of our time on history, and 95% of our time on building our futures. He believes that concentrating on our history holds us back. You can read an interview with him in Black Success Stories Volume 1.
I agree with him to some extent: if we concentrate only on the history of enslavement, this may hold us back. It depends how it is taught, however. I was always taught the history of resistance alongside the history of enslavement, so I found my history very uplifting and inspiring, and I still do. My ancestors were survivors, heroes and sheroes, and I take inspiration from their example.
Of course, it is true that enslavement only forms a tiny part of our history as African people. But it is still having a devastating psychological, emotional and financial impact on us. In order to understand why we are in our current position in Western society, and why Africa is in its current state, we must understand the history of our enslavement.
Still, I agree that we also need to focus on building our future, starting from now.
Click here to order Black Success Stories Volume 1.
See also Kuumba-Survivors.