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?

Sabrina Graham

As a child, living on the east side of Buffalo, NY, with a single mother, I was distinctly aware of my circumstance and journey in life. My mother was my first teacher who worked as a health professional but found time to work on several civil rights-related campaigns and programs, most importantly voter registration. Thereafter, my sister and I were sent to “liberation” school in our neighborhood that focused on self-determination and black economic power. The names Angela Davis and Stockley Carmichael resonated with me. Because of my parochical and liberation school education, the foundation of how I was to live my life as an African American and female was set. Moreover, my core foundation hasn’t changed, but rather expanded and I now have access and ownership to a vast body of historical works of my ancestors that I can pass along as an educator to young children and youth.
Sabrina R. Graham, Educator, Buffalo Public Schools