While Nell and I were studying a few years ago regarding metaphysics, Kemet, health, and other topics, we were finding it more and more difficult to find resources to feed our hunger for knowledge. This is the main reason why we decided to start an online community because we knew that we were not alone and that others felt the same way. We want to provide a place where we can learn from one another to grow to higher heights.
Could you tell some of our viewers the importance of cultural awareness and the benefits behind it?
It is like the Ghanaian saying, Sankofa, which means to move forward, you need to return to your roots. With cultural awareness, we are able to learn from our past, grow from it, and move forward. This also benefits our children so they can be confident within themselves and live a life without limitations.
I totally agree with that. What I’ve learned about my culture has definitely enlightened me enough to totally change my life. It also left me hungry for more. The sad part is that much of what I learned was in college. African American history was not an accredited history at the college I attended. It should because it plays a major role in the establishment of the USA. In fact other cultures in this country should be required to take it as well. What do you think we in the black community could do to improve our educational system?
If you are talking about the public educational system, I do not think this is a place for our children, period. How can we improve a “system” which is designed to teach our children to be mainly corporate slaves. Nell and I home-school our children but meet up with different families in the community so our sons and daughters can learn different topics that are not common in the mainstream school. Now I understand we do live a society that for many families, homeschooling is not going to happen. In this case, I think that we as a community can improve our children’s education by teaching the importance of a entrepreneurial spirit, gardening, carpentry, sacred geometry, and more topics which are not typically learned in school. This should be done in small settings so children can get the attention they need.
Interesting. I have a few people that home school their kids. Although my kids attend school, my husband and I are very strict on education and we make sure that they know the importance of education as well. I do remember my oldest son attending a school that had stapled books for reading. Then once we were able to get him into a better school, there were laptops and the whole nine. Now I know that you are familiar with Lyndon Johnson and the things that he accomplished while serving as President of the United States. One of the things that Lyndon Johnson established was the Head-Start Program which was founded back in 1965 as a summer program for kids in order to prepare them for public school in the fall. It would later become an all year program. When the government passed a bill on budget cuts in the US educational system, after over forty years the head start programs was one of the first to go. What are your thoughts on that?
Head Start was intentionally set up to meet emotional, psychological, and nutritional needs of children while at the same time preparing them before they go to kindergarten. Black children are enrolled in these pre-kindergarten programs at a higher rate than White children (Flores, G,; Tomany-Korman, S.; & Olson, L. (2005), Does Disadvantage Start at Home? Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health-Related Early Childhood Home Routines & Safety Practices. Archives of Pediatric Adolescence, 158, pp 158-165) which will definitely make a huge effect on our community if this program ends. The sad thing about it is that many families are dependent on this program. On the flip-side, did this program actually work for our children and their families? Some say it did, others say it did not. I truly believe in self dependency. Even though the program could have seem something positive, we as a people should know that anything given to us by anybody, can be taken away.
That is so true. I’ve also heard from some that it did not work as well as it did when I was a kid. I was a part of the head start program. We learned a lot. I’ve watched them with other kids in the past and the program seemed helpful. However, in the last few years I heard some complaints about what the kids were learning there, and that some were not prepared for Kindergarten. Now the Head-Start Program ended right in the middle of the school year. The parents were asked to stop bringing the kids for a few weeks until they were able to secure funding. However the government would later go on to provide proposed funding. What advice could you give parents who were affected by this bill?
I would say that this would be a prime time for parents to use their gifts and nurture their children the best way they can. We can depend on ourselves. Parents can partner with other families they trust and maybe even work out a schedule with them to ensure children are being taught and taken care of.
That’s great advice and very well put!! Now back in 1989, KRS-One started the stop the violence movement in response to the violence in hip hop and the Black communities. This was a stepping stone to advance a vision of hip hop’s original principles to the music industry. In the last few years there has been a rise in the number of black homicide victims. What do you think could be done today to restore those same principles established during the stop the violence movement back into hip hop and the black community?
Great question! We should support artists who truly have messages that ignite the brain to think and empower the spirit. Parents, we should cut the TV off for a while. There is not a whole lot of good on there anyway. This will allow families to do more productive things together and be more in tuned within themselves and with one another. We should also show genuine love to one another. Love conquers hate.
I love the way you put that!! I must say that your network is totally inspiring to me, so I must ask what you hope to achieve in the next five years.
I see myself with more knowledge, wisdom, and over-standing. I also see myself being more spiritually enlightened and my thirst for growth heightened.
I’m utterly amazed at how well you stay committed to your goal to enlighten the black community. I know that it can be exhausting from time to time. What gives you the drive to continue working towards your goal?
When a person comes to me and mentions that they were able to learn something which helped them on their journey, that moves me tremendously. My children give me motivation because I want them to be strong and courageous within themselves. They should be proud of who they are and show the next generations to come these principles and much much more.
I would just like to say that I’ve enjoyed our conversation today. I’m very glad that you took the time out to chat with me. Thank you so much!! Could you please give us the links to where fans can follow you? The pleasure is truly mine for having this conversation with you and I am truly honored being here. The community can check us out on RikkiNell.com. We have other links but we are rarely there. LOL! Best place is to check out our site. Thanks again, and I look forward to chatting with you again in the near future!