In 2016, all five of the world’s poorest countries are in Africa. These countries are mostly ruled by authoritarian regimes, and corruption is widespread. These countries are compared by their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, which is one of the primary indicators used to figure out the health of a country’s economy. In this article, GDP is measured in International Dollars.
Central African Republic (CAR)
This country became independent from France in 1960 and has had a democratically elected president since then. The current president of CAR is Faustin-Archange Touadéra, who has been president since March 30, 2016. The Central African Republic has a GDP per capita of $639.
2. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Although the DRC contains a large amount of natural resources, it is still the second poorest country in the world. Right now the country is experiencing severe political unrest. President Joseph Kabila has been in office since the death of his father in 2001. The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s GDP per capita is $753.
Burundi is a small country that has been dealing with civil war, and Hutu-Tutsi ethnic conflict. The president of Burundi is Pierre Nkurunziza who won a third term last year. Burundi’s GDP per capita is $951.
Africa’s oldest republic is focusing their attention on next year’s presidential election, until then President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will remain in office. Since their civil war in 2003, the country has had peace and stability. Despite the recent stability, its economy is struggling to find its feet after the ebola crisis. Liberia’s GDP per capita is $934
80% of Niger is covered by the Sahara desert and is a rapidly growing population. The main drivers of their economy are gold and uranium, so the economy is at risk because of price shocks as well as droughts and floods. The president of Niger is Mahamadou Issoufou who has been president since April 2011. Niger’s GDP per capita is $1,069.
It seems that Africa is still struggling with poverty. Two of the countries, Niger, and the Central African Republic have persistent droughts. Reading this does not mean there aren’t any wealthy parts of Africa like Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt. But we need to know what is wrong with Africa as much as we know what is great about the United States. In my next post, I will explain how these countries became the way they are today.
Today it has been one year since my father-in-law (FIL) made his transition to eternity. My wife wanted to spend the day at the city zoo because that was one of the places he would meet her and the kids during the day for outings. I took the day off of work, gave the kids the day off of school (reason, 32,499 to homeschool), and dedicated this as a memorial day for his life, especially because it has been a year after his passing.
Make Your Own Family Holidays and Memorial Days
Monday, my main hustle gave us the day off to honor President’s Day. I decided to work and take today off instead. First, History.com describes Presidents day as, “Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers.” Personally, I’ve never been a fan of celebrating someone who would have me working on the plantation as a slave if they were alive today, and my family does not celebrate many of this nation’s holidays because they really are not for us. It is said that Mr. Washington “owned” over 300 “slaves” at the time of his death. After he died, I’m sure he had a good reason before the Creator of Man how he could own something that he did not create, and whether or not he treated them justly as human beings. Therefore, we ignored this day (notice that as with most “holidays” as well, honoring the person isn’t the primary reason, but monetary gain to the nation), and decided to give a day to someone who really meant something in our lives.
I would like to encourage all of the Furious Fathers to consider doing the same. First, consider some significant days in your life or the anniversary dates of impactful moments and people in your life. Maybe it’s the birth/death of your parents or friends that are no longer with us. Maybe it’s the anniversary of a significant family event or for some men, just taking their kid’s birthdays off would be a great start. Whatever you can find, I encourage you to give it a try. This is a great time for the family to come together in the evening for a meal, and reflect on why the day is special, handing down memories and lessons from the one honored or from an event, all with the intention of helping shape your family’s present and future.
Seven Lessons from My Father-In-Law
On that note, allow me to share with you seven lessons that I learned from my father-in-law, as I reflected on our relationship today.
If the Good Lord woke you up, it’s a good day – In the final years of his life, as I think he began to see that he did not have the energy and ability to do what he once did, I would ask my FIL how he was doing and his response was always, “The Good Lord woke me up this morning, so that makes it a good day.” How we love to “wake up on the wrong side of the bed” or immediately allow ourselves to get swept up in the cares of a day and thinking life is so miserable, never just being thankful that if our eyes opened, the day is good. That certainly doesn’t mean that we smile with joy when bad things happen or life does not seem to be waiting like a towel when we get out the morning shower to not dry us off, but add more water, the last thing we need. That just means that if you have the mental ability to know that it is another day (and not all people have this ability), it is off to a good start. This is truly a glass-half-full mindset. My FIL had an apartment in one of the more swanky cities in the area, known for being liberal, having a small downtown to party in, and trendy restaurants, but he lived on the 11th floor and could see above the city’s tree line and would not move from that location. He had his view to see the sun come up in the east, and the ability to go sit on the corner and people watch, and he had seen that town change so much in all the years he lived and worked in the same area. He found contentment in the “little” things we often take for granted, the real treasures that make each day a good day.
You are never too old to change – When my FIL first heard about this so-called Black guy dating his daughter, he put down an edict that still has ramifications to this day. He said I was not allowed to come over to his house. I guess he felt superior as a hard-working so-called White man that the thought of his daughter being interested in someone Black after having her born and raised away from Black people, and the fact that this guy was working a dead-end job and already had a child, didn’t help as well. Needless-to-say, the latter two I’d have a problem with if my daughters were dating someone in the demographic. But over the years, I guess as he saw I was still in his daughter’s life after many years and was not afraid of him in any way, he seemed to change. Now this change wasn’t (at least outwardly) the usual go-along-to-get-along because my FIL never seemed much like that, but one that seemed genuine after his ideology was challenged and what seemed like some introspection on his part. Obviously, the fact that I am blogging about him right now says much, and after a few meetings, we quickly become quite close. I think he respected me and knew I respected him, even if we disagree with each other’s position on a topic, more we also discovered that we had so much in common and, as most father’s learned, his daughter may have married a man just like him despite being completely opposite in skin color. In the last decade of his life, my FIL and I grew pretty close, and at family events, we talked constantly. When he stopped attending those, I pretty much did as well! Our relationship was then built outside his immediate family, and sometimes he would call and we would talk for minutes (cause y’all know ole dudes don’t stay on the phone for hours) and when he came the kid’s games and over for holidays, we would talk more than he would talk to my wife…even about race! Perhaps it was having grandchildren. Perhaps it was God. I’m not sure what is was, but this guy seemed to do a complete 180 and it has taught me that some leopards do change their spots, even at an old age.
Attend EveryGame – One reason our relationship strengthened so much was because of the amount of time we spent together. This was not a planned meet-up, but because he always wanted to be at my kids’ ball games to support them. He was at the baseball games and basketball games, even the dance recitals which no man wants to sit through! I can’t recall a time he left early or arrived late, he was just always there. During that time, I heard many stories, and I loved the sports stories the most, as he was alive to see Willie Mays (and my FIL was a serious baseball fan) and Ted Williams. When he said Ted Williams was his favorite player, but Willie Mays was the best player to play the game, that statement had weight to me. When he criticized today’s players and spoke of problems in the game, I knew it was with the knowledge that would match any ESPN analyst with Google right at their fingertips to do research. He would often tell me that he knew the starting line-up of the 1957 Detroit Tigers, but not what he did last week. A feeling I now know very well, as I can name the starting line-up of the 1983 California Angels but struggle to nearly everything else in my life as well. When he attended, he just wanted them to know he was there and he never criticized their game, just that they were playing hard. After every game, regardless of the outcome, they came over for their high-five and “good game!” I don’t think they will realize the effort it takes to have that kind of attendance record until they have to make the effort to go watch their kids and grandkids play, no matter you feel or “meaningless” the game.
Always Be Teaching and Learning – Whether it be a game, family gathering or phone conversation, my FIL was always learning something and teaching. Looking back, like many men of his generation that did not complete his high school education, he never made it to high school. So I think he made it a priority to always be learning something new to cover up any lack of knowledge people might perceive that he had when speaking to him. He seemed to know quite a bit about nearly anything and if he knew I was into a particular topic, we would see each other the next time and he had some info for me. He was always teaching some lesson or sharing how some event from the past will visit us again in the future. But he could be in this position because he was always learning. For his birthday, he loved to get a gift certificate to the bookstore. He gave me boxes and boxes of books that he picked up from the Salvation Army for $1.00 or less, and the topics consisted of sports, philosophy, religion, reference material and on and on. He seemed so proud that we were homeschooling the children and even more proud of what we were teaching them and the people they were becoming. No one on either side of my family was as much of a champion for my kid’s education than he was, and he was so optimistic at their future because they were out of the system.
“Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later” – Dave Ramsey said it, but my FIL truly lived it. If you would have met my FIL and heard of his shopping habits, you’d think he was an elder man that was barely getting by. Quite the contrary. Where did he shop? The Salvation Army or any second-hand store that had deals. He’d bring bags over all the time with nothing but the free stuff he received from the drugstore with coupons. Some items had expired, some we still have, and some we gave away, but he viewed it as, “Hey, it’s free, so I figured someone could use it.” He drove around so long in a plain white rental-car-looking Ford Focus. He put approximately 2,000 miles a year on the odometer. Now, it wasn’t that he didn’t like or couldn’t afford a more flashy car, as he always wanted to have an Audi R8 and lamented often how he had to get rid of that ’67 Camaro with a stick because my wife’s baby seat was on the floor next to my MIL and he couldn’t drive it without hitting her seat. But he kept saying, “I cannot see paying that much money for a car I’d never drive. I can take the bus if I really need to go downtown, and the car I have takes me anywhere else I need to go just fine.” He loved to chat about the press cars I’d bring home and would give me car mags he bought from the store with good articles. But if it did not make fiscal AND practical sense, there was no purpose in him parting with his cash. So he kept that flip-phone till the end.
Being alone for a man is not something to fear but embrace – My in-laws divorced shortly after my FIL retired. Many men I know at my age cannot stand to be alone, let alone a man that had been married for three decades. But he seemed to take pride in being a bachelor, with his “pad”, frugal life, and discovering new dishes that he could make and eat in his crock pot. Sometimes as men, I think that we avoid and fear of being alone after many years of marriage, so we jump right back into another relationship for more security. However, I think he was an excellent example of how to be content with one’s own thoughts, failures, and dreams. Dr. Robert Glover of No More Mr. Nice Guy says that we as men need to know that no matter what, we will be okay and we can handle it. It is a lesson I’m still learning.
We all have to die someday – In a few weeks, it will also be one year marking the time my FIL and I were to meet again. I saw him in January of 2016 when visiting the old neighborhood and I honestly thought that due to the short notice, he would not meet with me. My FIL took each day as it came, so if he wasn’t in the mood to chat and chill, it’s a no go. Surprise visits were even worse, as he has always been an early to bed and early to rise guy. But turned out, not only did my short notice not matter, he really wanted to see me. It was like he knew it was the last time we would see each other. When kicked it in his place for quite a while and even though I knew the doctor’s opinion was that his months may be numbered, his spirit and zest said otherwise. When I asked him how he was doing, he said that, “You know, this is tough, but hey, we all have to die someday.” I then asked about his relationship with God and he said he was at peace with his Maker, knew where he was going and was ready to go. During his battle with cancer, knowing that we had to die someday seemed to make him appreciate just one more day so much more. He said, “That Good Lord has given me a lot of years and a great life, great kids, great grandkids, a job I enjoyed, you know, what do I have to complain about?” I left his place saying that I would be back in March when I had to return to speak at an event. He said to definitely come back by and see him, but I didn’t know if he would make that meeting myself. I left his presence with tears in my eyes and basically saying to him how much I appreciated all of the things you get to read about right now. As a man who admitted to making many mistakes in his life, and some that he paid the price for till the end, I wanted him to know that our finish after a horrendous start is something I will never forget and truly shows God’s grace to the two of us. Ever humbly accepted and agreed, and encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing, because it’s my kids show that it is working. But I told him that he played a huge part of that as well, and it was one of the few times the old guy got speechless. I think we both parted ways unsure if that meeting, just less than two months away, would ever take place. I left having nothing unsaid to him, as who knows, I could have died instead. He at least seemed to be relieved at our honest exchange. All hearts were clear because we all have to die someday.
I don’t know.
Now I wonder, what DO I have to complain about?
That’s why we honor my FIL today and it’s good to think about the wisdom he passed down to me.
Other meaningless holidays come and go, but tomorrow, I’ll wake up thinking, “Thank you Good Lord for waking me up, and giving me a good day.”
Kiarre Harris was arrested not for a violent crime, embezzlement, or drinking and driving. No, she was arrested for homeschooling her children.
Now, homeschooling parents are aware that educating your kids is always a risk, and that is why many join the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, even if their state is considered “homeschool friendly”. It seems that if you are a member, the association will even publicize your case on their website and a check in the news area shows at least two other recent stories of families under fire in New York. I’m not sure what is going on, but it certainly seems like NY’s Child Protective Services is putting extra pressure on homeschooling families in 2017. That decision is probably made from a higher agency, but more on that in a moment.
If you watch the video below, you will have the opportunity to hear Kiarre Harris tell her own story. But allow me to expound on a few other points:
At first blush, this seems like the typical media trick (or should I say dog-whistle) being played when describing Harris in many news outlets. However, there is some relevance, as NY is said to be contesting her right to homeschool because she does not have full custody of the children.
If having full custody appointed by the court vital for homeschooling, why is it not a requirement for sending the child to public or private school? After all, a common area of contention with parents that do not live together is where the child should go to school. So, if there is fear that the parent does not have complete authorization to homeschool the child, shouldn’t the same standard apply for enrolling the child in any school, as there is no guarantee that the other parent agrees with that decision?
According to theblaze, “In addition, the district told WKBW that children are not to be taken out of school until individual education plans are approved.” Isn’t it amazing, that New York is considered a state that consistently votes Democrat over Republican, a party that prides itself on fighting for civil rights? This is why I do not get caught up in the politics game. Why does a “liberal” state that many flock to for the opportunity to express themselves, need to approve what you can teach your children? Many of us homeschool to teach our children true history, biblical values and to have a more focused overall education free of violence and the surrounding culture, so do you think they would approve of When We Ruled as a textbook in the curriculum? Do you think the POTUS will “tweet” about her case as an example of democratic hypocrisy and over-regulation?
Now that leads me to my final two points:
Kiarre Harris’s children were put into foster care. Unbelievable, and extremely sad for such an “infraction”. Much is said about the foster care system and whatever your view is, I am sure we all agree it is nowhere near the same as being with your parents in a loving home. A home so loving, she is choosing to stay at home with the kids 24/7! Is her “crime” worse than the possibility of her kids being harmed in a stranger’s home or even her in jail? And even if they are not harmed, how do you account for the confusion, fear, sadness, and anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen to them and why it is happening? Yet now, despite doing the “right thing”, the children are in the system. There is a file that has been created that will follow them at least until they are 18, and in the 21st century, likely much longer.
Kiarre Harris is officially “in the system”. While I do not know anything about her past, below she says that she has never been arrested and is not a criminal. Sadly, most so-called Black folks need to always give this disclaimer because if they have had police contact of any kind (this is why “stop and frisk” laws are so dangerous in case you don’t know), any injustice against them is now warranted as acceptable by the dominant society. But now, she has something that all law-abiding so-called Black people fear, a record. Again, it will follow her for the rest of her life as well, because she had the audacity to homeschool her children. On that note…
Kiarre Harris represents the quandary that proves why and the risk of so-called Black folks homeschooling their children, you BETTER have all yours t’s crossed and i’s dotted. Listen to me. If you are homeschooling in New York and have the finances to join the HSLDA, please do so! Forget that lawyer that our cousin used that we could call or just thinking nothing is going to happen, there are stories in your area showing that they are cracking down big time. When some groups catch a cold, we catch pneumonia, so a word to the wise is sufficient. That said, most so-called Black folks grow up in areas with subpar school systems and we cannot afford to send them to private schools, which are often subpar as well! Trust me, I went to one in the suburbs and there were numerous Detroit public schools that would have given me a better education and more advantages. But this generation, we no longer have to settle, we can bring them home, or at least do the main teaching at home! Just remember if you do, make sure you have extra layers of covering. It certainly appears Kiarre Harris had everything checked, but like we all know when that police car is in your rearview mirror, they can always get you on something.
Hear Kiarre tell her story below. Warning, language alert if your kids are around. While I’m not a fan of swearing, I ask that you do not be hypocritical in your assessment of her because of some of her foul language (I made the mistake of reading the comments section on some of the stories about her case…I normally know better and yes, they were as ugly as expected). After years of working in the corporate sector, I cannot hold her to a standard that those in the boardroom and on the golf course are not required to follow, not to mention, I’ve heard the bombs many drop in front of their children…
A new contribution by another “student”. Big Homie (my 12-year-old son) contributes the following post looking at Labor in the state of Arizona.*
I’d like to show a chart of the top five industries in 2014.
Yes, the government was on Arizona’s top five employers in Arizona. We will later see if other states are similar. This chart shows how many employees are paid by:
1: Trade, transportation, and utilities: 494,000
2: Government: 411,300
3: Professional and business services: 390,700
4: Leisure and hospitality: 290,800
5: Financial activity: 195,300
However, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is still Arizona’s biggest employer, followed by Banner Health, a healthcare company, and grocery chains Kroger Company. I know what you’re thinking “so why is not Wal-Mart on this list”? This is because Wal-Mart is technically a business, not an industry.
By: Big Homie
* Remember your old boring Geography class in school? Did you ever wonder whether it really mattered if you knew exactly where various states were located in the United States? Really, you were not even able to drive yet and what if you never planned on even visiting those states when you got older? Well, I’ve noticed the fruits of this mentality in adults over the years, so this year I wanted to try something different with the Tribe.
Now in full disclosure, Lil Pappa (my dad) would take the fam across the country to California and one of my favorite activities (besides counting BJ Trucks…but more on that another day) was following along in the atlas, and observing the topography and demographics in each state.
1. Economics 2. Education 3. Entertainment 4. Labor 5. Law 6. Politics 7. Religion 8. Sex 9. War/Counter-War
When people think of the state of Arizona in relation to people groups, marriage, and relationships, the “Luke and Laura” white ideal couple tends to not come to the forefront of the mind as fast as it may when you think of other states.
But what does the data say and why does it matter?
1. Opportunity for potential spouses to meet: in areas where there are few Asians, for example, we would expect to see fewer White / Asian intermarried households (Harris & Ono 2004).
2. Historic patterns of residence/migration patterns: for example, the removal of many American Indian tribes from their original lands to reservation lands; historically higher proportions of Hispanics living in the Southwest; historically higher proportions of Asians living in the West.
3. Characteristics of the current population that are typical of those who are more likely to intermarry: for example, individuals with higher educational attainment are more likely to intermarry so one might expect that areas with higher educational levels might have more intermarried couple households (Qian & Lichter 2007; Fryer 2007).”
Therefore, having some insight into the marriage patterns of various people groups in a state tells us much about the state’s history, gives insight into present demographics and may aid in forecasting future policy and patterns. To be blunt, “race” is in the DNA of America. There is nothing that happens in the areas of human activity that are not forged through a racial template, hence why it is my responsibility to mold that template as a homeschooling parent, and not leave that up to society.
Anyone know how that has turned out recently?
Now first, a few ground rules. I do not teach my children to categorize people by race. Any uses of such categories are for the reader and to stay true to the categories used by a particular source. We follow Acts 17:24-26:
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,c25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,”.
Second, I am under no illusion, as many in the world are, that “interracial relationships signal some kind of racial progress. See the blog Black Women of Brazil for a look at how interracial relationships are used as a tool in a nation that is considered “post-racial” and a true “melting pot”. Some may even feel that this is where the United States is heading by design.
Notice I did not say, “all because two people fell in love”…(I’ve seen that sign somewhere before). Love does have a color, and it is the government that determines whether “that color” is acceptable or not for marriage. In Arizona, the government felt it was not acceptable until a court decision just days before 1960 when Henry Oyama of Japanese descent wanted to marry Mary Ann Jordan, who was “white”. The irony in the story is that Oyama passed for being of Mexican descent, which is a major variable in determining who is allowed to marry outside of their race and spent over a year in an internment camp.
I said, “Internment camp”, that alone takes us down another unique path while studying Arizona that I’ll save for later.
That said, as you will see below, it is also ironic that Arizona is one of the leading states in “white” and “Asian” interracial marriages today.
But I digress…now I do agree that at least having interaction between people groups, is a positive sign and at least creates hope that those involved will have their prejudices challenged and conquered. However, history shows this is often not the case (obviously The South especially during The Nadir era is an excellent example), and I teach my children to look for various markers on why they may be making a particular choice for a spouse, especially one outside of their people group.
What is their theological and biblical view of “race”?
Do you view this person as superior to you? For example, are you saying, “I think white men will treat me better than black men because black men are…”
How do you view yourself, especially in relation to this person? For example, “I think I will have pretty kids with them because they have good hair and I don’t want my kids to have hair like me.”
How does this person view you and your racial views?
Does a person outside your people group use the word “nigga”? Do they use the excuse that they can relate to you, they listen to hip-hop, or “sometimes people just act this way and I can’t help it?”
How does their family view you?
Why is this person attracted to you? Do they make statements like, “I only like black men/women or ‘light-skinned’ men/women?”
Do they change their behavior when around their own people group, then act another way around you like Peter in Galatians?
Do they say, “When I look at you, I don’t see color”?
Trust me, those are just a few of the questions and scenarios we have discussed, but I hope you get the idea and you may have some similar thoughts for your particular people group as well.
Now let us look at the numbers. Overall, the newlywed data from 2008-2010 does show that more interracial marriages do exist out west.
What does this say about all of those “liberals” in the Northeast? Perhaps when it comes to choosing a spouse, they are just like most Americans. But as we begin to study other states in the future, we might find that they inter-marry for a different reason such as education level over residential patterns. It certainly seems that interracial marriage is more prevalent out west is due to historical migration/residential patterns and as we study the other eight areas of activity (see below), we are going to find that it varies tremendously (depending on time period) and influences how the country interacts today (e.g. “red” and “blue” political patterns).
Among people groups, Arizona ranks highest in marriage between “white” and “Asian” and “white” and “Hispanic” people groups.
“White” and “Hispanic” Marriage:
Arizona – 12%
Nevada – 11%
* Remember your old boring Geography class in school? Did you ever wonder whether it really mattered if you knew exactly where various states were located in the United States? Really, you are not even able to drive yet and what if you never planned on even visiting those states when you got older? Well, I’ve noticed the fruits of this mentality in adults over the years, so this year I wanted to try something different with the Tribe.
Now in full disclosure, Lil Pappa (my dad) would take the fam across the country to California and one of my favorite activities (besides counting BJ Trucks…but more on that another day) was following along in the atlas, and observing the topography and demographics in each state.
1. Economics 2. Education 3. Entertainment 4. Labor 5. Law 6. Politics 7. Religion 8. Sex 9. War/Counter-War
Remember your old boring Geography class in school? Did you ever wonder whether it really mattered if you knew exactly where various states were located in the United States? Really, you are not even able to drive yet and what if you never planned on even visiting those states when you got older? Well, I’ve noticed the fruits of this mentality in adults over the years, so this year I wanted to try something different with the Tribe.
In part one, I shared our 2016-2017 world history textbook is Robin Walker’s When We Ruled and a little about why I made the decision to use this text. Today, I’d like to share a bit more on why and how we are using his amazing work.
Why We Are Using: Is Black History Slave History?
This photo summarizes how history is taught to African-Americans:
Now, it is bad enough that this is the opening act in U.S. History, but World History? So many questions remain like:
What were “slaves” doing in Africa before slavery?
If they were in Africa, were they really slaves?
If they were not slaves, what were they doing?
If Africa had so many people with dark skin in the country, how did they become slaves and why are “white” people there now?
When did people with lighter skin come to Africa?
If darker skin people were in Africa and the bible we read seemed to take place just “above Africa”, how did Jesus and the others become “white”?
Were people in Egypt “white” or “black”?
If “white”, how did they get that way, evolution?
What did that make Moses?
What color were the people when the Hebrews, Joseph, Jacob, and Abraham went to Egypt?
What happened and who built those pyramids?
As you could see, working backward from where we are today generates many questions that need to be answered. Just working from slavery in America to today only provides one narrative, and that’s HIS-story. Needless-to-say, HIS-story usually goes like this:
African’s were savage people that were running around uncivilized in Africa, so Europeans started off with good intentions by giving them Christianity and brought them here to America like immigrants.
The early immigration plan went too far, and some evil people misused and mistreated those Africans, and made them slaves and treated them really bad.
Remember, they were savages. Therefore, the “bad treatment” they received in the “New World” was still probably better than their lives in Africa because after all, their own African people sold them to the Europeans anyway.
It was all God’s plan for without slavery, Black people would not know Christ.
Overall, without coming to America, African’s would still be running through the jungle with spears and no clothes because they never advanced to be civilized like other “races”.
Glory, Glory, Halleluiah, his untruth keeps marching on…school year after school year.
How We Are Using
As I stated previously, we are using the study guide as to set the pace for our lessons. Each day, my 15 and 12-year-olds have a portion to read and in some cases, write an essay on. As a matter of fact, I’m not going to go too deep into this as we will soon be giving an example! As their midterm final, they are to:
Choose any book in the bible.
Find a bible map that (if accurate and true) shows who inhabited that region when the book was written.
What nation was in charge?
How did they get there?
Based on what has been found and what Robin Walker states about that area, describe the people and their culture?
Now previously, one of the more interesting books in our library was written in 1881. What do you think that book said and what was the prevailing thought of “the negro” in 1881? Well, take a look:
Now to have in the library, fine, as it’s an interesting piece of work. But to teach, no thanks (at least not for the purposes generally recommended).
Robin Walker opens up When We Ruled by asking in chapter one, “What is Black History?” He goes on to quote the aforementioned Professor William Hansberry along with Professor Cheikh Anta Diop, the great Senegalese scholar to narrow our focus and begin to break of the hardened ground in our minds. Then the chapter flies over North Africa, West Africa, Ethiopia, Southern Africa and the East African Coast, proving that pyramids, royal palaces, and many other great massive structures were built on the continent that remain to this day but is rarely seen. Why are they not seen and why are they not tourists attractions like the structures in Rome, Paris, and Greece?
Photo Source: By Wufei07 – Own work, Public Domain,
When We Ruled is filled with many different diagrams, maps and photos throughout the 700+pages. So can find many various avenues to turn down to begin exploration on other historical events and places.
Now the next semester is soon upon us in a couple of weeks. If you do not have your copy (feel free to order from our affiliate link below) and want to join us on this journey, now is the time! But more importantly, now is the time to for us to know the truth about our past than we know about European history. After all, the knowledge contained in When We Ruled will do me and my children far more benefit, than knowing all about Zeus, Aphrodite, and Medusa, to name just a few myths that are forever etched in my brain taking up space.
First of all, let me thank one of our followers on Facebook over in the U.K. for the recommendation to review When We Ruled by Robin Walker. I certainly hope to hear more from them as they have some great insight on homeschooling in another country!
Now, how many textbooks have you had during your school career that really changed your life? Let me tell you, When We Ruled has the power to not only change your kid’s life, but your life as well as the reader and teacher. As a college graduate, I know more about Greek Mythology, European History, non-African languages, overall more about so many other groups than my own! If knowledge was an identity test, I honestly could not call myself an African-American. But Robin Walker’s work is definitely upping my knowledge game.
So far, this book is a true textbook with over 700-pages of not just text, but photos, maps, and notes as well. When I found out that he also put together a When We RuledStudy Guide and Reading Plan, that put the icing on the cake and makes it a must have in the curriculum of a homeschooled child. Dare I say any homeschooled child, regardless of ethnicity? If science has admitted that all life originated from Africa, then why would this work be excluded? Sadly, because it is about Africa (and not fitting into the usual narrative of spear-chucking and half-naked people) and has a so-called Black author, I’m sure it would be dismissed by many and that is a sad shame.
As you can see below, the study guide assigns a certain number of pages each day along with Test Yourself Questions, to bring out the main points of each chapter. I love how Walker uses study techniques like re-reading a chapter, having students study the picture and the caption, and will even ask a question forcing the reader to understand how certain positions stand or get refuted in modern history.
Now this is just part one of a series of posts we plan to do on When We Ruled. I have discovered quite a few different ways to apply the historical lessons from this book into bible and science as well. Therefore, the knowledge gets applied and reinforced, you know, the same way it is in traditional school when you learn that the Greeks and the Romans perfected language, knowledge, teaching, philosophy, medicine, fitness, the heavenly bodies, the days of the week, religion, and the list goes on and on!
But Robin Walker forces us to ask, “was what I learned in school correct?”
And that brings me to my last point. I have read some that question the history that Robin Walker outlines. Of course, I think all things should be tested and if false, rejected regardless of the source. However, much of the criticism that I have read thus far are similar to other arguments that I have heard made about African history which basically say, “there is no way African people could have been that smart”.
In The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered, Salim Faraji speaks of the scholarly work done in the early 1900’s that debunked the narrative about Africa and the people and the racism they faced as other scholars would not accept their views (so much for the Ivory Tower being so liberal right?) William Leo Hansberry was the first academician in the United States to teach courses on African history in the 1920s, but was told by one of his mentors that, “I do not believe that Negroes founded these great civilizations. You are a brilliant student Hansberry, but you are a product of our civilization”. (The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered, pg. 25)
My point? All of our lives we have been taught to never question what the Dominant Society tells us about ourselves, no matter how racist their worldview, but we will doubt knowledge from those who have no ax to grind. Or put another way, why do we always think someone else’s ice is colder?
If you are interested in any of the books mentioned in this article, click on any of the images below.