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?

Vivian Rankin-Scales

Being a child of the 60’s, I remember not having access to many written resources about my ancestry. My Louisianan parents were my most important teachers of my heritage. While in libraries in my youth, I remember scouring the shelves hoping and praying to find more images like me. Leafing through the card catalogue, looking for familiar names was like hunting for treasure.

I also remember leafing through the TV Guide weekly in search of any movie or TV series that had an African American in its cast. Always anxious to find my kind in media, images or through words was a quest in my youth.