My girlfriend Maxine is a teacher at a kindergarden achool in the Portmore area of St Catherine, Jamaica. She is well respected by her colleagues children and the parents.
Maxine and her colleague “Aunty Diana” “has made it her priority to teach their kindergarden children snippets of black history and giveing them homework to research heroes such as Marcus Garvey, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, George Washing Carver and much much more. The feedback from Maxine is that the kids love those black history classes.
That level of black history education is so important to the upliftment and inspiring for those youngsters at the stage in their early childhood development.
I am glad that such history is taught and discussed in Jamaica schools at all levels today. As when I was educated in Jamaica at primary and high school level (1974-1986) we rarely touched on the history of black people. I can recall spend many a time at Glenmuir High have to write about the wonders of jerks like Francis Drake, Jack Hawkins and Queen Elizabeth 1 in some heroic form when in fact they were big players in the downpressing of our ancestors. I could tell you all that there is to know about the European Reformation and Renassiance
Thankfully my parents and siblings were avid readers and they encouraged me to read about the lives of powerful black people in my spare time. Old Harbour Library and the then iconic librarian Linda Spence also gave of her time to ensure that those who came within her radar became well read individuals.
I have always love history and can recall asking my history teacher at Glenmuir why aren’t we doing Marcus Garvey and only to be told Garvey was not on the syllabus. Rubbish!! So many of my fellow students only came to Garvey history in their 20s and beyond.
With the advent of the internet we are lucky to have volumes on black history at our fingertips.
So to Maxine and the other teachers out there making it their goal to educate the young – respect to you. I will make I and many others will also do their to ensure black history is learnt and shared by old and young.