SHOWCASING AFRICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE THROUGH AFRICAN EYES
Traditions ♦ Knowledge ♦ Legacy
Many children of African descent in public schools tend to dissociate from their cultural heritage as a result of the myth and stereotypes perpetuated against the continent. In order to increase the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation for Africa’s place in world history, AHI will showcase Africa through “African Eyes”.
Children of African descent in the diaspora in elementary schools tend not to be grounded in the knowledge and experience of their cultural heritage. Reasons are not far fetched! Schools have so many subjects to teach. A more pointed reason is that many children of African descent in public schools tend to dissociate from their cultural heritage because of the myth and stereotypes perpetuated against the African continent. So they learn to read and write, and learn about other people’s culture and history but their own. And as Marcus Garvey put it, “a people without the knowledge of their past history and culture is like a tree without roots.”
The popular African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” is a timeless truism. Parents can no longer stand by and allow schools to simply teach children how to read and write without regard for cultural heritage.
‘The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth”. – Mary McLeod Bethune
A boy or girl who is grounded in the knowledge and experience of his or her cultural heritage has the necessary tool to prove his or her worth.
The Bethune Community Project (BCP) is AHI’s attempt to elicit parents’ interest and commitment. It is an attempt to bridge the cultural disconnect between school and parents by bringing community into the school. This will encourage parents to actively participate in the raising of their children in the areas of
- character building
- respect for self and community
- pride in one’s cultural heritage
- knowledge and understanding of historical and cultural background –
Using one the charges in the Mary McLeod Bethune’s philosophy of living and serving as a mantra, parents will explore a principle of the Nguzo Saba.
Through AHI’s Community Outreach African-Centered Enrichment Program, parents volunteer in the classrooms to execute the African-centered Enrichment Program as well as aid schools during the different feasts and holidays that call for the celebration of the children’s cultural heritage.
November – Ancestor’s Celebration
December – Kwanzaa
January – Dr. King’s Birthday
February – Black History
June – Juneteenth
♦ By promoting cultural knowledge, AHI aims to expose children and youth of African descent and those of other backgrounds to authentic Africa through heritage programs and projects.
♦ AHI seeks to supplement the meager-to-no inclusion of African cultural heritage awareness by school district to ground the children of African descent, instilling in them pride in their rich cultural heritage, enabling them in the demonstration of healthy self-concepts that center in their multicultural environment.
AHI WILL OFFER AFTERSCHOOL/SATURDAY ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
ARTS AND CRAFT
DRUM AND DANCE