On Wednesday February 25th at Clovis Community College lecturer and keynote speaker Dr. Chike Akua presented an enlightening and empowering presentation titled, “What Does It Mean To Be Black?” Dr. Akua is a professor of Educational Leadership at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is considered by many to be “an educational revolutionist” and a leading expert on culturally relevant educational materials and instructional approaches. In his one – hour informative presentation, Dr. Akua reveals how discoveries made by African people in ancient history have revolutionized American society.
Through the incorporation of information, statistics, and visual illustrations, Dr. Akua claims that ancient African people played a significant role in the discovery of subjects such as math, literature, science, and technology. In his presentation, Dr. Akua exposes how American society has historically and presently falsified or has shifted the focus away from discoveries made by black people in history. Miseducation, skillful media manipulation, and cultural identity theft were said by Dr. Akua to be ways in which American society depreciates black history.
To further support his research and findings, Dr. Akua proves that several widely known American Monuments are in fact African inspired. Monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial happens to be a replica of the ancient African monument of Ramesu, Mount Rushmore appears to be a duplicate of the Four Faces of Ramesu, and the design for the Washington Monument looks to have originated from the ancient African sundial known as the Tekhen. These three discoveries only represent a few of the ancient African influences that are present in American society today.
As an African American male, I take pride and joy in my African roots. Having the opportunity to learn more about where I come from, as well as the discoveries made by my ancestors is important to me. Before Dr. Akua’s presentation, I had not been educated about my ancient African roots. Having taken several history classes throughout my time in school; the extent of what I was taught about black people in my history classes only consisted of the enslavement of Africans (1619 to 1865), and the struggle of African Americans during the civil rights movement (mid 1950’s to the late 1960’s).
While black people did manage to overcome, the common theme during these time periods only depict black people in a state of oppression and being seen as inferior or lesser than. I admire Dr. Akua’s presentation primarily because it predates slavery and the civil rights movement, in which he expounds on how black people were not initially subjugated or substandard to society but rather Kings and Queens. I come from a lineage of innovative, powerful, and beautiful people, and in knowing that I will always honor my roots.Samuel Ethan Morgan.