African-American history has played an integral role in the shaping of politics, economics, and culture in the United States. Growing up, how did you learn about the accomplishments and struggles of African Americans? Were you in a classroom? Reading a book? Talking with relatives or friends? How has your understanding or knowledge of African-American history changed and/or developed over time? What do you think is the most effective way to pass along this rich and growing history to future generations?

Christine Castro

Dr. Gates- I am the eldest of the fourth generation of immigrant great grandparents. Raised in a Latino household, my Puerto Rican father and African American mother were raised in extreme poverty and racism. As children they rarely shared their experiences. Raised in a Irish community and the only black student in my elementary classrooms until junior high school – growing up in the AME Church was my introduction of black history. It was not until I enrolled in my first college course (aged 50), when I was deeply thrown into the boughs of African American history. Now, months away from graduation with my Baccalaureate in History and enrollment in the Masters program/Museum Arts, I will continue to honor my immigrant grandparents to encourage genealogy research to high school students. For I realize the importance for our people to embrace, learn, and accept their history and lineage. As a descendant of Mexican, West Indian, and African heritage I embrace the legacy left for me to research and share. I am thankful for your PBS specials as it has answered, challenged, encouraged and extended my educational experience. Today as a grandmother to a 4-year-old – for him my journey continues with the steps of my great grandparents to sojourn as far as this experience carries me and beyond his grandchildren. Thank you!