As a Black child in America you may not have learned a great deal about your own culture, and history in elementary school; so, okay, it was more like 10/10 that the school did not have a curriculum in place to teach young students about Black culture and history. Well, let’s see here, you probably were broadly taught one selective lesson in Black culture- which would be the slavery era. Yes, out of all of Africa’s history and all that the land offers it was selected that you learn about one era in Black culture, and of all the stories that could have been taught to young students about Black people it was only the slavery era that was primarily focused on. Now, let’s break it down even further, with such an emphasis on the creation, bringing forth and establishing, and maintaining the Eurocentric curriculum in America thank goodness Black people even got themselves into a class book, because the “other ethnic groups” are nothing but a blur on a single page.
Inside of the Eurocentric learning system there is only one small room for “others” so African Americans received more notice in the learning system. (Yes, notice how I did actually say only African Americans) Oh, do not get your underwear in a bunch other ethnic groups, African Americans were focused on more in textbooks by default; it is called the Civil War. There will be no detailed explanation to define what lead to the Civil War, the Civil War, or the aftermath of the Civil War because that is what educating yourself is all about- take a trip to the library or sign up for an event or lesson at your nearby research center because The National African Diaspora Examiner is not your personal detailed encyclopedia.
Although America itself carries a lively and rich history in its own right, it is that Civil War that weighs so heavily on America’s shoulders, and continues to mold our society even in the world of today. So, that Civil War meant a great deal, which is why the key players involved were primarily discussed in textbooks- and that meant you could not ignore African Americans in order to tell the story of the Civil War. Now, it is an old saying that “history is written by the victors” or “history is written by the winners” but in this case history was written by those who desired to hold onto that power that lead them to try to control the world, therefore, there is only room to show what only mirrors their kind. An aspect of trying to hold onto power to control the world means advertising your own kind through public instruments, erasing or trying to erase other ethnicities’ culture and history to make it seem that your own culture is more important, and the trick of omitting other ethnicities from textbooks or at least veiling countless information that pertains to other ethnicities.
Now, there are strong customs that are done by African Americans in essentially every household, and that is the teachings of Africa, and a whole lot of education about African Americans other than what you think you know, or about the Slavery and Civil War eras. You did read correctly, it was stated “only African Americans” because let’s face it this is an extremely prideful group of people. (From the art, to the rhetoric, to the spoken word events, to the poetry, to the music, and to everything else inbetween that embodies the culture is intensely interlaced with what has been coined by African Americans as “Black Power” and “Black Love”, and all what that entails) The term Black Power may sound frightening to many, and may even sound like racism to many, but within this particular group of people everything begins from those two words, and for many African Americans it is something you live because it has been fed to you from your first memories about what life is.
When an oppressed group has been ostracized a great deal such like African Americans there may not be any room for ignorance or having no love for yourself, so this term “Black Power” is wrapped around self-love. As mentioned before self-love embodies all what is within the African Americans’ culture, its art including music, and outlines past, present and future.
Karyn Parsons’ future is definetly shining brightly these days. Karyn Parsons is probably best known for her role as Hilary Banks on the sitcom “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” but her company, Sweet Blackberry, has been grabbing all of the attention these days. Sweet Blackberry is for non-profit, and Parsons’ mission is to educate children everywhere through various mediums about Black history and culture.
Like many African American children she would listen to the stories of African American accomplishment in the comforts of her own home, and she never forgot those lessons. While growing up, Karyn’s mother, a librarian in the Black Resource Center of a library in South Central Los Angeles, would share those stories with her. Not only was Parsons deeply inspired by her mother’s stories of African Americans, but launching Sweet Blackberry has been something she desired to do since “Fresh Prince” days, and let’s just say her mother is the backbone of Sweet Blackberry.
Not only was Karyn motivated to create her company by a strong desire to instill a sense of pride, and sense of culture and heritage to her daughter, but the inspiration derives from her own mother and upbringing. Sweet Blackberry was created to deliver education, stories, and lessons to all children, and she deeply feels these stories need to be told and heard.
Sweet Blackberry launched to critical acclaim in February 2005, and garnered the likes of Emmy award-winning actress, Alfre Woodard; and multiple award-winning, Queen Latifah (Dana Owens). Both respected women, among others, have narrated stories for Sweet Blackberry’s films.
All films have enjoyed a long run on HBO and HBO Family; have acquired several awards, including the Parent’s Choice Award.
It seems that Sweet Blackberry will not trip on its way to more success, and cannot wait to see what the future holds for Karyn Parsons and for her company, Sweet Blackberry.