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5 things to Teach about Africa [5 key things to learn]

5 things to Teach about Africa

In recent times, I have come to realise the importance of educating communities, especially children, about African history and culture has gained prominence. In this article, I will delve into the critical aspects that should be considered when developing a curriculum to instill a deeper understanding of African heritage.

By challenging stereotypes, acknowledging diversity, and highlighting historical achievements, we can contribute to a more accurate and nuanced perspective. The following are what you should focus on, based on my own experience when teaching people (kids or adults) about Africa.

1. Talk about the African Slave History

The history of enslaved Africans is undeniably crucial in understanding the African-American experience. Effects of enslavement and racism, such as housing segregation, significantly impacted generational wealth. Foundational lessons should emphasize the pervasive influence of historical events on the modern condition.

2. Pan-African Approach and Diverse Perspectives

A pan-African approach is a relatively new idea, emphasizing the diversity of African people in terms of languages, cultures, religions, and worldviews. Understanding this diversity is essential in comprehending the colonial period.

It is crucial to challenge the Western education model that often marginalizes societies outside the Greek or Roman paradigm. We must establish a tradition of deeper analysis, recognizing the value of civilizations beyond the Eurocentric lens.

3. African Technological Innovations

Highlighting African achievements in technology is essential for fostering a sense of pride and challenging preconceived notions. For example, Central Africa was the birthplace of iron technology, with evidence dating back thousands of years.

This early human achievement challenges the notion that innovation is exclusive to more stratified societies, offering a powerful message for future generations.

4. Deconstruct Negative Narratives

The portrayal of Africans as backward, savage, and primitive was a tool used to justify enslavement. It is imperative to identify and deconstruct these mendacious talking points, tracing their origins and presenting countervailing facts. Leveraging Europe’s evolved perspectives can help dissect remnants of these narratives in popular culture, equipping children to respond more effectively.

5. Explore West and Central African Civilizations

General knowledge about West and Central African civilizations, such as the Mali and Congo empires, is foundational. These well-documented empires provide insights into the regional origins of many in the African diaspora today. Learning about the economic, political, and cultural achievements of these civilizations can be a starting point for a more comprehensive understanding of Africa’s history.

Conclusion

In conclusion, developing a curriculum that instills pride in African heritage involves addressing historical injustices, challenging stereotypes, and highlighting the diverse and rich history of the continent. By embracing a pan-African approach, acknowledging technological innovations, deconstructing negative narratives, and exploring historical civilizations, we can contribute to a more informed and empowered generation.

Education begins in the home, and by actively engaging in conversations about what is important to teach our children, we can shape a more inclusive and accurate narrative of African history, culture, and worldview.

Author Profile

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John Aina Ajibola has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.

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