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?

Ruby Wilson

My brother, retired Naval Officer and Chaplain Charles E. Wilson, is the Crawford-Wilson genealogist and covered the family story there. I would like to pay homage to the teachers of P. S. 197 — Harlem’s Jon B. Russwurm school, who ensured that I had knowledge of the land of my birth, America, and of my race! Sylvia Wellington, Thelma Clark, Gwendolyn Richter, Lucille DeGraff, music teacher, Barbara Allyne, librarian, Batya Lewton, and of course my favorite teacher of all time, my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Wilhelmina Wynn, decorated our classrooms with images of African and Black American S/Heroes enabling us to see ourselves with pride and walk with our heads high–with dignity. My junior high school home room teacher, Mr. Hale of I. S. 201– the Arthur A. Schoemberg School provided a rich curriculum in Black studies that enabled me to engage in dialogue about our proud history as a people and not be a shrinking violet about it! Hurray Prof. Gates for you and those like you who know that we must continue to tell our story!!