Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How Do I Reach These Kids?

I teach the intro to African American Studies course at one of the universities here in Florida and most of the time I find it incredibly fufilling. It is the perfect platform to promote the Pan-African perspective.
On other days, much like this one I am a little discouraged about my ability to impart knowledge to 18-23 year olds.

I am overwhelmed actually. At times I am overwhelmed with how much they do not know as I am fully aware that this may be their only chance to be exposed to it. I am overwhelmed with how much they don't care to know. I have a fantastic group of students this semester and it's a racially mixed bunch. However, collectively their world seems to be limited to BET, VH1, MTV etc. In my many attempts at relatability I made reference to the Real Housewives franchise that's a big hit at BravoTV. Unfortunately the vast majority of the students ONLY watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta. *Ugh* They chose to limit the way they view the world.

Last lecture we discussed Africa prior to slavery and colonization. While this is just an intro course, I didn't even touch the tip of the iceberg. And I truly felt that after a full lecture, that I hadn't given them enough. So I asked "Is there anything else that you would like to know about Africa prior to slavery and colonization"?

*crickets* 
I mean dead silence. Because the history of Blacks only involves their subjugation...

Frustrated AND overwhelmed.
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