HBCU Connect “Black History In Action” Scholarship
Is African American history relevant to success in today’s world? How are you, individually, committed to making a brighter future for the African American community? What steps have you taken? What can be done to educate young people that history is still taking place in the African American community today?
African Americans tend to get the most attention in during black history month. Teachers try to cram generations of African American achievements into one month. Most students only learn what African Americans did in one certain time period, which is the civil right movement. People fail to realize that African American history has a tremendous effect in the success in today’s society.
From the very start, African Americans have a big role in society. It may not seem so but African Americans are responsible for the success of this country. Without slaves this country will not as prestigious as it is. African American people have a great success story and it is still continuing.
African Americans have created many ways to make life easier and more enjoyable. A lot of things used today were invented by African Americans. Many things used to save lives to things to play with were the inventions of African Americans. For instance, Joseph Winters invented the fire ladder. It was patented May 7, 1878. Ever since then, the fire ladder is a mandatory piece of equipment for all fire fighters and is used to save lives almost daily. Another invention is the super soaker, invented by Lonnie Johnson. The super soaker has been an American favorite for decades. There have been many African American philosophers that changed the way society thinks. Philosophers and educators such as Fredrick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., have changed the mentality of society dramatically, to say the least. Without many of these great African American figures society would not have been able to progress as rapidly as it did.
African Americans have a great influence on society. Imagine this society without African Americans at all. Things such as music and certain languages would not exist. African Americans are the most original people in society today. Many other races and nationalities have imitated the styles of African Americans. Not only do African Americans play a big role in society socially, but also politically. In every election since the ratification of the 15th amendment, the African American vote has been cherished. The African American vote has been important in every presidential election, especially now. Considering that one of the presidential candidate is African American, the African American vote will be the center of attention. There is a strong possibility that it may be crucial factor as to who will be the next president of the United States of America.
Its an inevitable force within the African American culture. The uniqueness of the African American culture gives the society a balance. African Americans offer so much to society from the corporate perspective, to the athleticism, to education. Even in the beginning, Europeans seen our ancestors as something to value. Although, they were not treated as such, their masters appreciated their slaves. A slave owners wealth was measured in the amount of slaves he owned. The less slaves he owned, the less power and wealth he had. The slaves held tremendous power and status. It was just down played by the thought of being inferior that was instilled in our ancestors. Often abuse and mishandled, slaves were like money. They were needed to gain access to certain things and places. Without slaves, slave owners were unsuccessful and unknown. it’s the same way in this day in age. African Americans are abused and attacked but are the key to a successful society. Police brutality and prejudice feelings toward African Americans are just ways to try to hide the fact that African Americans have more control than what they think.
Knowing what my ancestors have done and gone through motivates me to be successful. My ancestors have created this country and its society. I refuse to lose control of something that my people created, worked, and died for. That’s why I try to learn as much as possible about my people and my past. I feel if you know your past you can control your future. Being active in my church and participating in food drives is my small contribution to making the African American community better. Getting involved in activities and things that benefit me and my community is essential to me. It teaches me how to carry myself with dignity and pride, like all African Americans should handle themselves. I’ve learned to love and respect myself as an African American. I try to set an example for others to follow.
Educating young people of their history has been proven to be one of the most difficult task. I know from experience. I mentor a group of fifth graders and for black history month I asked them to create posters. They were told to research an African American figure and create a poster describing their achievements. I want them to know who is responsible for the obtaining the privileges and rights we share today. For young people, finding things out on their own has proven to be a more effective approach. Instead of telling my students who to research and the things about them, I let them choose. I also find that relating African American history to today is an effective way to educate young people. A lot of scenario’s that have happened currently have happened in the past. The results of things that happened in the past are clearly visible today. An example is the 2008 election. Most young people do not know that Barack Obama is not the first African American that has come close to being the President of the United States. Comparing Obama’s campaign to Jackson’s campaign will teach students about the past and current politics. History can easily be compared to current events today.
I admit that African Americans do have flaws. African Americans tend to be pointed out for their flaws. The truth is everyone has flaws. There are more allocations being told about the negative things in the African American community than the positive things.
There has never been a moment in society where African American history has not played in its success. Socially, politically, and economically, African Americans improved this society. Many African American contributors and their contributions are still used today. Life would not be the same without them. The African American success story is great and only gets better with time. Its important for all people to know this. African American history is a key factor to the success of society and the world.