As we get ready to role out the Earth Day 2017 Festivities, I want to recognize some really important people that make blogging for me historical and worth while. With the first ever March for Science in Washington DC and around the nation on Saturday, it is very important for me to make notice of the underrepresented populations around the world who have been touched by curiosity but not yet realized that a life long pursuit in the arts and sciences is their actual calling. Many of these people who are being raised in real poverty stricken circumstances, where not even books or newspapers are a part of their daily levity. Some times when we think about poor people, we tend to think of the people we see from under developed nations on national television begging for a monthly supply of food and money to survive. Not realizing that right here in America there is poverty.
There are also different types of poverty. With help from the welfare system, some people may be able to afford the basics of food, clothing, and shelter. A lot of people come from the kind of communities where the adults in the homes cannot even read or write so the children are not motivated or influenced to excel. With so many students in the public and private education systems, not every child is noticed. Some children, if they are noticed are discriminated against. For one reason or another, a lot of children are left behind from being diagnosed with developmental disabilities, left behind from being diagnosed with high IQ’s, left behind from participating in athletics, left behind from educational opportunities and from many other programs that are being created everyday to help children to achieve.
RUFFSTARR.COM aims to reach the left behind populations, as curators of Universal STEAM projects, so the force is with us to continue to produce and re-produce edutaining lectures by the most influential people in history. For the people who need to be touched by the power to be, in a society where competition is steep and the wealthy can do anything within their power to dictate the livelihood of the poor. As important as education is to a woman like Michelle Obama and Let Girls Learn, as well as “Well-Meaning White Teachers who bring racism Into Our Schools”, sometimes we wonder to ourselves, if the educational systems in America is really the place to be uplifted or to be torn down?
Back in June 2016, our family attended the festivities, events, and memorial service for Muhammad Ali’s Funeral in Louisville Kentucky. When we came home we had several different reflective moments. Only half of the footage we shot was recovered in a download. Due to technical difficulties the other half of the footage is still stuck on one of my cameras. Of course what did get downloaded was not good enough for me because I wanted to piece together the bigger picture with as much of the footage as possible. I let the ruff cut sit on my desktop for ten months before I finally decided to just showcase all of what I had downloaded from my cell phone and cut up, which is what was uploaded on YOUTUBE.
We still have the other half of the footage from the dv camera with technical difficulties, at some point I will be able to join all the footage from our trip. The footage from the other camera had a lot of walk through snippets we shot throughout the Louisville Kentucky area like around the Muhammad Ali Center and throughout KFC Yum Center and all our fun “Black” family moments. We had good seats at the KFC YUM Center for the Memorial Service, and we where able to clearly see and hear the special guests, (such as the former President William J. Clinton, Lonnie Ali, Maryum Ali, Rasheda Ali-Walsh, Natasha Mundkur, John Ramsey, Billy Crystal, Bryant Gumbel, Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby, Senator Orrin Hatch, Rev. Msgr. Henry Kreigel, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Chief Sidney Hill, Chief Oren Lyons, Rabbi Joe Rapport, Venerable Utsumum, Sister Denise Utsumum, Ambassador Shabazz, and Imam Zaid Shakir) while documenting some of our time inside the KFC Yum Center. However, it was at the memorial service for Muhammad Ali that many people first learned about the history of the racial messages etched by Francis Scott Key in the Star Spangled Banner which Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby spoke about when stating that “every sacred document in our history conspired to convince the African in America that when GOD made the African, GOD was guilty of creating maleficence.
A friend of mine who seen the ruff cut of this documentary from my computer files recently and told me that what I had put together was “shottaz”. That was a nice compliment. Like I said, I had this ruff cut sitting on my desktop for so long, I almost decided to 86 it because in just a few months it’ll be a year since Muhammad Ali passed away. However, I realize that I have brought this back up during a time in history that Ali would have definitely appreciated. For one, with Earth Day 2017 finally here, it is a perfect time to recognize Ali as an official ancestor.
Mojuba O! Pour libation in his honor and make knowledge born, to make him a proud ancestor. He was someone who was respected, loved and revered during the time he spent on Earth. A lot of people looked up to Ali as the answer for “Blacks” in America, during a time when many “Blacks” could not stand up to racism in America because of police brutality and all the negative outcomes “Black” families would face for standing up for themselves and families during the segregation and jim crow era. Muhammad Ali was a huge advocate of education. With all that is going on today with improving the educational opportunities for “Black” men, women and other minority classes, we owe it to Muhammad Ali for being one of the progenitors for the advocacy of education in African American and “Black” communities.
When you read the mission statement of many Universities, one of the biggest phrases that these institutions tend to stress about is their ability to serve the underrepresented populations in the communities they serve. However, based on my observations, as an African American woman, I believe many higher education institutions have overlooked what it is they say they represent. As long as I have been educated, I have learned more about the importance of education and have gained more life skills from watching and listening to people like Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Jewel Pookrum, Oprah Winfrey, Phile Chionesu, and the Obamas. Everybody is not going to like all of what these people may stand for. However, the common bond is their relentless pursuit to influence African American and “Black” youth and adults to impress knowledge of self and our heritage in the lives of original people to overcome the kind of oppression that has held “Black” people back from our original greatness for over hundreds of years.
An Instagram meme going around social media states “New Study: Black Students Who Are Taught Racial Pride Do Better In School.” I believe this is true. The actual study “Parental Racial Socialization as a Moderator of the Effects of Racial Discrimination on Educational Success Among African American Adolescents”: revealed that teacher discrimination was more detrimental to the academic engagement of African American males than females. Also, some additional scholarly articles on the matter include a research about the “Patterns of Racial Socialization and Psychological Adjustment: Can Parental Communications About Race Reduce the Impact of Racial Discrimination?”
Based on my experiences, I realize that the Black History Month programs I participated in as I was growing up instilled more value in my life as an African American Woman, compared to when I was dominated by Christianity and images of White Saints in certain institutions. As a long time admirer of art, I am by no means stating that the art works of people such as Leonardo da Vinci have no historical relevance for the representation of his likeness. However, all art is appreciated, as long as young “Black” children and their parents are not blinded to believe in a one sided story about life and humanity.
Because of influential people such as Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Jewel Pookrum, Oprah Winfrey, Phile Chionesu, and the Obamas; “Black” youth in America and their families have more value for education in their life than ever before. Students are increasing their interests and improving their grades in subjects like Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics. Thanks to our elders, more doors are opening for more “Blacks” in America to have a good education and life like the “Black” characters we have watched from programs like The Cosby Show, A Different World, and Hidden Figures.
There are also several organizations that have been developed for African American and “Black” Youth and adults to team up and develop together. The Nation of Gods and Earths for example is a non profit organization which was founded in Harlem NYC in 1964 as an off spring of The Nation of Islam. This group has nationwide and international chapters where women get together to learn about Earth Science, Mathematics, Muslim Girls Training (MGT), and General Civilization Classes (GCC). Every year during Juneteenth the Nation of Gods and Earths host their annual Show & Prove event at the Harriet Tubman School in Harlem New York. During the Show & Prove young people compete in the annual Science Fair, Talent Show, the adults have a dance party, and a lot of vendors participate in selling holistic food, products and services. People from all over the world go to New York annually for the Show & Prove. The most impressive thing about The Nation of Gods and Earths is the impact this group is truly making in the lives of underrepresented communities internationally, totally independent of the traditional educational systems.
Helping young people to explore the the power of their minds, as well as the world through Multimedia is how RUFFSTARR.COM and Universal Facts Productions is engaging our communities with STEAM. We use the traditional STEM acronym and fallowed up with the new trend for Science, Technology, Engineering, the “Arts” and Mathematics. As primary and secondary school educators we realize that children’s interest in the arts is the first step to their appreciation for all things Universal, which are Science; Technology; Engineering and Mathematics.
Patterns of Racial Socialization and Psychological Adjustment: Can Parental Communications About Race Reduce the Impact of Racial Discrimination? By Enrique W. Neblett Jr.,Howard University; Rhonda L. White and Kahlil R. Ford, University of Michigan; Cheri L. Philip, Howard University; Hoa X. Nguyeˆn and Robert M. Sellers, University of Michigan.