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?

Latoya Ashley

I loved reading about American black history as a elementary school student. It was never taught to me in school like I believed it should have been. So, I read about it for myself. In elementary school, I was reading about lynching, segregation, boycotting, and integration. I was not only reading but watching movies on PBS, looking at photos of black people being burnt alive for just being black. And many white people were murdered for helping to fight the system with us. I think reading these stories as a child and seeing the images helped shape me and my thoughts. I knew that my people died and fought way too hard for me to not get a proper education. I went to college and now try to live a lifestyle that they would be proud of. And I plan on passing that same education to my kids. I have been collecting books since I was in elementary and I will teach my kids about our history, the good, the bad, and the very dirty/ugly.