Our innovative educational and leadership development classes, coures, projects redefine Black education - teaching, learning and evalution based on Afrikan culture & psychology for us to achieve our ancestor’s highest aspirations. We are transforming ourselves into better warriors, healers and builders to accomplish the task.
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Education has been weaponized against us. Let’s flip it into a liberation force and path.
About UsAYA Educational Institute offers courses for adults and youth. Our youth program is executed as an online demonstration school for Black middle & high school students.We innovate for success then share what we’ve learned with parents, other educational communities and institutions dedicated to uplifting our students, their families, our communities, and our people.
Afrikan-CenteredFew of us grew up attending Afrikan-centered schools. We attended European-centered schools (public and private) dedicated to the preservation of white domination over African people. Of course, that stark presentation provokes Black resistance, so they pretended to be agents of empowerment - lifting us by teaching us math, science, reading, character development, literature, history, culture, and the like. Our enhanced and intrinsic value of “Education as “a way up” - we brought with us from Timbuktu, Kemet, and The Kongo, from Monamatapa, and the “Doghana,” from home - Afrika. Our number systems and languages, sciences, symbols, and our daily communications were metaphorical and multilayered with different levels of meaning. Education consisted of moving through stages to divinity. For the Dogon, it started with training just to be able to be aware (Giri So); then upward to see the same thing from different perspectives, “from the side” ( Bene So) then progress to an even higher understanding of the “word from behind” which gave cultural context and meaning so that we could hear the “clear word.” (So Dayi).
Once here - in this land of “trouble” - we also shaped “education” in response to oppression to be a vehicle and a path - a way out.This runs so deep in us that many of us still resonate with education as a way up and outtoday. But education, as we know it, was hi-jacked. For Europeans, it became a way in! It was and is a major tool in their socialization agenda and cultural war. David Walker and Carter G. Woodson railed against this hijacking calling it “miseducation.” Later Mama Marimba Ani would name their strategy the Rhetorical Ethic.This wasn’t just a war on Afrikan peoples’ bodies, it was a war on the structure of the family, values, traditions, identity, purpose, and processes that produced the Afrikan person and Afrikan people. Our enemies had tried everything - divide and conquer, captivity, brutal physical and mental abuse of every kind to quell the pulsating Afrikan spirit determined to be free of white domination, determined to create and to recreate “home,” to recreate Afrika - right here, to heal, to return to keep the promises whispered on the night air as we were taken in the belly of those ships.
WarThis Afrikan spirit manifested an undulating union of “I” and “we” that allowed us to “make a way out of no-way,” to time-travel, to redefine death. This unity of seeming opposites boldly contrasted the European way and proclaimed as “juvenile” the:• “I vs. we;” “Me vs. you;” and “Man vs. God” dichotomies of European socialization. Europeans met to discuss how they could stop this silent, yet powerful confrontation.Baba Asa Hilliard tells us that they left one of those meetings frustrated that no matter what, no matter how far and how dim, Afrikan people will go to the light. One of their phrases captures their frustration and their agenda: “If only we can cut out the light.” By hijacking our value of education and manipulating who would be hired and lauded after “education,” they sought to used education to do just that! All subjects were used to alienate us from Afrikan family, community, identity, culture, structures, and purpose.
It was and is war. The process is resocialization - manufacturing surrender and consent - captivity adorned in yet another set of clothes.Even in the face of this education cladded cultural war, we survived and some excelled in their systems. We were also wounded.The problem is that we teach the way we were taught - for the most part. Worse, we teach the way the oppressor has instructed us to teach. When we repeat - unchecked - the oppressor’s curricula, methods, values, agenda, we become caring, unwitting, hard-working instruments of their oppression. We also ignore the wounds we received and thus normalize them. We shut out the Afrikan light for our peers and our children. If you’re still reading this, you may want to be a part of the healing solution for yourself, our students, and our people. Welcome. We need you.
Healing AlienationOne of the key aspects of an African-centered education is healing alienation. The mis-education that we received worked to alienate us from our history, our cultural ways, lessons, and mission. It sought also to alienate us from the very subjects we were being taught. Of course, we were “blamed” for not excelling.” Dr. Amos N. Wilson provides the explanation:“We are alienated to serve aliens.” - To serve those not in or of our community that orchestrate or collaborate and benefit from our misery and our service - while our community and our people decline.Dr. Asa Hilliard has taught us that European formal education and socialization deeply implants the mental chains to replace the visible steel ones of yesteryear.It’s not just Black content, Black music, hereo and sheros; It’s black cultural methodology that maintains high expectations and high nurturing.
Education ForPowerNana JH Clarke called for African-Centered to be an education for Black power - real power - manefested by what we do and how we live. AYA Education is teaching math, science, technology, social studies, etc. taught in ways that instill in our students the knowledge, skills, confidence and desire to use their power to remove others from power over us, to heal and lift our people so thatourskillsandsuccessserveusandtheworld-inthatorder!
WHB Education African-Centered teaching is teaching and learning how to be better warriors, healers, and builders for our people.
Welcome. We need you.
SupportingProjects like the Family-Lore project, the Sankofa Math project, Liberation Spelling Bee, Where My Voice Begins - Youth WHB, The Guardians, Ngolo, and in East Africa: The Ngvu project need your support. These projects call for real family and community engagement and are often beyond what a teacher can do alone.Parents and community are not used to being a real part of the curriculum and instruction, so the structures, expectations, and habits are not in place to make it readily happen. That’s where family and community volunteers come in - carving a road where none existed before. You learn how to build trust among us where distrust has been induced.
BenefitsYou will help us to continue refining each of those projects to make them better and to make them available to a wider range of families and to formal and informal organizations who are attempting to educate our children. We look forward to offering Saturday School, after school and setting up contests and supplemental instruction.When they have access to these African-centered, innovative projects, our children move to the stratosphere. See below how one of those stellar supplemental programs The Village Method (TVM) is using our Family-Lore project to do just that!We need you to help refine and expand that work. You get the satisfaction of working with a team to heal oppression’s wounds and the skill of black team-building.