Tag Archives: Black education

African Centered Curriculum

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Greetings!

Many Black parents want to create a culturally astute homeschool for their children, but do not know where to begin.  Unfortunately, there is not a ton of packaged curricula available that begins in ancient Africa and follows the Diaspora to modern times.  The great news is, there are committed young people working to make this happen.

One such brother is Dr. Samori Camara of New Orleans, Louisiana.

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He founded and continues to maintain an African-centered homeschool collective, Kamali Academy.  Kamali has received national press for its effectiveness, in publications such as Source Magazine.  Dr. Camara has also published a book and many videos to assist parents with home education.  In addition, he provides online classes in subjects such as Mental Math, The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, and Afrikan Literature (the “k” in Afrikan representing African people all over the world, rather than only on the continent).

Presently, Dr. Camara has continued his path of creating a strong body of resources for home educators by building a detailed K-12 Curriculum.  The entire collection can be purchased for immediate download at a cost comparable to purchasing one subject textbook for one child.  Preview or purchase the curriculum here (http://www.kamaliacademy.com/curriculum/).

While it is important to have guidance, it is just as crucial that we continue to compile pedagogical ideas and curriculum that we feel are relevant to the canon of African-centered education.  As we share that content, we can expand the amount of information available for future educators.

All Best,

Nikala Asante

 

Yoruba Names Lesson Plan

Yoruba Names Lesson Plan

Greetings!

I hope that your week is going well.  Today, after a discussion about the meaning of names, I felt inspired to search for a lesson plan about the reverence given to the naming process in Africa.  Sometimes, people ridicule African names because they may be difficult to pronounce.  It is important that we teach our children respect for names, no matter how different that they may sound.

For instance, in Nigeria, Abayomiolorunkoje is one name for a boy from the Yoruba ethnic group.  In America, a boy may be teased for having a name so complex.  However, in Yoruba, the name means, “People wanted to humiliate me, but God does not allow [it]“.

Follow the link for an awesome lesson plan on Yoruba names, appropriate for students 2nd grade and above.  One note: the link to the Smithsonian website within the lesson plan did not work, so you can visit this site (http://www.onlinenigeria.com/nigeriannames/Yoruba.asp) for a list of Yoruba names and their meanings.

This lesson plan can also be adjusted for discussion on Akan day names (http://www.twi.bb/akan-names.php).  The Akan people in Ghana oftentimes name their children based on the days that the children were born.  It would be very simple to have an Akan naming ceremony as part of a unit about Ghana.

Enjoy, and all feedback is welcomed.

All Best,

Nikala Asante

4 Year College Scholarship through Ossie Davis Foundation

4 Year College Scholarship through Ossie Davis Foundation

 
Greetings,

Today, I would like to share information with you about a 4 year scholarship available through the Ossie Davis foundation.  I was informed about this scholarship through an education advocate, R. Lee Gordon.  Here’s the spill:

The Ossie Davis Endowment Scholarship program was established to honor the legacy of the renowned actor, Mr. Ossie Davis. Ossie Davis was a writer, actor, activist, director, and producer. He was a well-read thinker, communicator, humorist and humanist who influenced society and cared deeply about the world, the people, and his family.

The program was established by family and friends who understood Mr. Davis’ passion for education and his commitment to the young people who will shape our future. The Ossie Davis Endowment Scholarship program is designed to provide scholarships to African American incoming freshman attending a four- year Historically Black College or University commencing Fall 2012. Applicants must demonstrate the ability and desire to use artistic activism to proactively address the concerns of humanity.

For scholarship award consideration, applicants must upload an essay and letters of recommendation to the online application.

Finalists will receive up to a $6,800 need-based scholarship award in the Fall of 2013. The scholarship is renewable for up to 4 years, provided that students continue to meet the scholarship criteria. For renewal consideration, students will have to re-apply with an updated portfolio each year.

 

To find other available scholarships, visit: www.ScholarshipsOnline.org

Have a great weekend!

All Best,

Nikala Asante

 

How to Work and Homeschool

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Greetings!

I hope that your week has gone tremendously well.  The topic for today is how to work and homeschool.  My personal situation is a little unique.  I am a single mother, I homeschool, work 2 part-time jobs, and go to school full-time.  First, I will tell you how I am able to do this.  Then, I will present some other options that you can consider.

My hectic schedule works (and pretty well too!) because I organize with other homeschooling parents in my community to teach my son for part of the day, and in return, I teach their children for part of the day.  He also attends piano lessons with another parent and her child while I am at work.  Both of my jobs allow me the flexibility to study at the office; so, I use this time wisely to stay on top of my schoolwork.  Also, one of my jobs, which I work on the weekends with a non-profit organization, allows me to bring my son with me.  He even helps me at work.

The take-away from my set-up is that if you work together with other parents, even if they are just “sitting” for you part of the day, your child(ren) can have a rich homeschool experience.  Also, they get that fun “socialization” component in!

Now, here are some other options to think over:

  • Start a homeschool collective or co-op (while this link is for a Catholic Co-op, I think that the information is relevant for groups of any religion)
  •  Run a website with items for sale
  • Teach English online
  • Work at home as a call center rep
  • Make jewelry (or other craft items) and sell them on Etsy
  • Clean houses or offices part-time (and take your children)
  • Tutoring from home
  • Instrument lessons
  • Become a licensed childcare provider
  • Join a MLM like Avon or Mary Kay and host parties
  • Host an Exchange Student
  • Substitute Teach
  • Website or Graphic Design
  • Pet Sit
  • Make Gift Baskets or Floral Arrangements
  • Become an online educator (for an online K-12 school, for a college/university, or independently for a subject you are an expert in, i.e.: writing a blog, hosting webinars, and doing consultations for that subject)
  • Creating and teaching an online course independently with a site like schoology or coursesites and collecting payment with PayPal

What are other ideas that you have for how to work and homeschool?  Please share!

All Best,

Nikala Asante

Building Workshops for Children

Greetings,

I hope that your week is off to a productive start.  I have some exciting news.

Recently, I learned that Home Depot and Lowe’s offer free building workshops for children.  Please visit the following links and enter your zip code to find the upcoming workshop near  you. Enjoy!

Africana History Fact: Did you know that one of the first known architects was Imhotep, who designed the first pyramid – the Saqqara Step Pyramid for King Djoser?

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Home Depot Workshops: http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/

Lowe’s Workshops: http://www.lowesbuildandgrow.com/pages/default.aspx

All Best,

Nikala Asante

Homeschool Math and Science Resources

Homeschool Math and Science Resources

Greetings,

Today, I would like to share with you a new website created by a dear friend of mine, Deirdre Mimes-Danner.  She is a homeschooling mom with a special passion for math and science.

Deirdre has created a wonderful site for homeschool math and science resources, videos, and books.  While the site is still under construction, there are already many helpful links posted that you can immediately use.

Enjoy!

All Best,

Nikala Asante

Free Africa Unit Studies Lapbooks

Free Africa Unit Studies Lapbooks

Free Ghana Unit Study and Lapbook

Greetings,

I hope that you are having a pleasant Sunday.  Please enjoy these free Africa Unit Studies Lapbooks in creating a culturally relevant and diverse curriculum for your students.

All Best, 

Nikala Asante

Black Books for Kids

Black Books for Kids

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Greetings,

I hope that your week has been awesome.  Today, I would like to share my new website with you.

I created Black Books for Kids to fill the need for a central online marketplace for affordable African American children’s books.  

As a parent and home school educator, I am always searching for books.  Personally, I love books from all cultures.  Some of my favorite authors are Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Chitra Divakaruni, and Ama Ata Aidoo.  While I believe that children should also be exposed to literature of all cultures, I find that it is a little more difficult to locate books from Africana cultures to fill a child’s library.  The books are out there.  They just require extensive time and energy to uncover.

With Black Books for Kids, the footwork is already done for you.  The prices are great, because we are powered by Amazon.  Everything is divided into age groups and genres for easy navigation.  Best of all, I am sharing reading resources, articles, and videos regularly.

Please visit whenever you need to purchase books for your child or teen.  Check back often, because new books are posted frequently.  If there is a book that you do not see listed, send me an email at blackbooksforkids@gmail.com and I will include it.

Thank you for your support.

In unity,

Nikala Asante

8 Great facts about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

8 Great facts about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Greetings,

On the anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, let us celebrate his life by learning a little more about him!

All Best,

Nikala Asante

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

Greetings,

I have sometimes heard people say, “Isn’t education just education?  There is no Black or White education… it’s all about what works.”

By the same token, I have heard people say, “Literature is just literature.  It’s not Black or White.”

Some even go as far as to say labeling education or literature by race or culture is “racist”.  (Sidenote: Culture is what is important here.  ”Race” is a social concept based on phenotype.)

So, let’s talk about culture.  Which cultural group is predominantly central to modern education and literature?  The answer is obvious: Anglo-Saxon culture.

This is not accusatory, it’s just a fact.  If you take an English, History, or Math class, you will learn about Shakespeare, the Greeks and Romans, and Pythagoras.  You will be less likely to learn about August Wilson (a great African American playwright), the ancient empire of Mali, and Imhotep (the first known physician – an African).  If you are a Black student, you see Europeans being great throughout history.  Yet, your “history” is limited to a handful of heroes and heroines spanning from Harriet Tubman to President Barack Obama.

Let’s talk about literature.  One can attain a PhD in literature without reading more than a few Black authors.  How many literature students are required to read from the African Writers’ Series or the Norton Anthology of African American Literature outside of those specializing in Africana Studies?

If you are a Black student, should you not read more literature reflective of history and cultures of the African Diaspora?  Would that not grant you a greater understanding of your modern plight?

Would a well-balanced education with account of Africana contributions to all disciplines not grant you greater knowledge to solve modern Africana problems?

With these questions in mind, please enjoy this wonderful video by Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie on the danger of a single story.