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?

Tomie Shabazz

Share a story of growing up is a story of many memories that were taken for granted by many, especially by those of us growing up in Harlem in the 60’s. Being Black in America seem not exist during that time, history seem to move around you without even knowing that you were a part of the history, being Black in America in the 60’s
Waking up, each morning to indifference, of the world outside, waiting for the appearance of the many residents, who would frequent the streets, of being black in America again. It never stops for the residents of Harlem, always being a part of a history that had yet to be told correctly. Remembering waking up in the middle the night to thunder of anger, Temple No. 7 had just been bombed, is this a part of history or is it just being Black in America? Waking up each morning, to a new type of drug, seems to be an experience, better yet a survey taken by unknowing participants.
When looking at how history has to be reminded of existing, is when I remember what it meant to be Black In America. Living in Harlem was a privilege looking back in times where it was just safe to be Black in America. We weren’t told stories about the south and slavery. Most wanted to forget the south completely, it was safe in Harlem. The stories you hear being told now, I envy, my stories are of the 60’s, being safe being Black in America. Harlem was the white America project, ever heard of the Haryou-act? 117th street became so colorful and for once, teenagers who earn a dollar and be at home at night.
I envy the past of my ancestors, however I come from a history of many dreams when being Black in America had just begun.