How I Came to Know My History

Feb. 11, 2013 / By

Commentary, Asani Shakur

The history of my ancestors is a rich history. Although Black history, sadly, is marked with the brutality and inhumanity of slavery, I also see tenacity in our history — the will, the passion and the ability to still dream, despite the harsh realities. Our ancestors left guidance for us in the form of African proverbs; they set the example for us of how not to give up, no matter your situation. To me, they displayed what faith is. My ancestors were mavericks.

I was first introduced to Black history by my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Jean Harris (I wish I could find her) at Wilson Elementary School. The first thing I noticed was the way she dressed — always in African garments – and how she wore handcrafted African jewelry. In fact, she was the only Black teacher and, really, the only adult I knew personally at the time that was doing so.

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