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?

Ramona Lewis

I was very fortunate that I grew up in the 60s and early 70s when black history was a meaningful part of the classroom instruction. We had “Black History” reading books, comic books, and board games to teach us reading skills as well as history. As a kid I was very INFLUENCED by the picture of Angela Davis on the cover of the Life Magazine…I wanted to be her! So I became a student of the revolution, reading anything and everything I could about the Black Panther movement. That actually led to me becoming political and socially aware at a very early age. But I must admit that I lost some of my passion and drive for the “movement.” I started believing that we didn’t need to talk about that anymore and the “multi-cultural” movement was the way forward…sadly I was mistaken. I realize that if don’t begin to teach (I am a teacher) and promote the stories of my ancestors, they will be lost forever.