Why this topic?

Well, today the entire staff was introduced to my blog page. Some by email, and others came to me personally and said how excited they were to see me finally begin this journey. For the record, my driving question is “Does teaching African-American youth through Afro-centric curriculum decrease or increase self-esteem?” Some would ask, “Why this topic?” This topic re-phrased itself in my heart several times, and for a few years, until it formed itself into this beautiful question that made my mind say, yes, this is it!

In 2000 and 2003, I travelled to Africa and an African gave me a few African history books. He said to me, “I know this information will be very unfamiliar to you, but you will learn something that you will have never read about.” He was right. It told me of the first persons on the earth and how they had come out of Africa. How great would that be for the African-American child to know that? So I went to the science department and started to ask questions. One science teacher told me that was only theory and one told me that they had shown a DVD of that very thing.

As I find books, dissertations, and words of wisdom on this subject, my world is opening up to more critical thinking. It is so stimulating to learn something different everyday. My prayer for the students at North Lawndale is that when they pick a topic, it is one that stimulates their heart.  Yes, something that will make them want to learn always.


Yvette Vessel

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