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?

Sikkim Assing

I attended Concord Baptist Elementary School in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. At that school, I was exposed to Black History. It opened in me an appetite for learning about me and my ancestors’ struggle. I wanted to know everything. We played games during lunch about Black History. At home my grandmother and mother always told me stories about their struggles. My mother told me during her summers in Norfolk, VA, there were white and black fountains and the back of the bus. I share these stories with my son. I hope he will share his knowledge. We have read the book on the letters of the Willie Lynch Law and discussed how it affects us as a people now. My son is proud to learn about black history and hopes his school will teach him more.