In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools across the United States abruptly closed in March. Some school districts implemented distance learning plans, and others did not. African children without regular access to computers and the internet have been further alienated.
In the haste to reopen and jumpstart the economy, public school districts have reopened despite the fact that one out of three children tested for COVID-19 in places like Florida have received positive test results.
In the schools, we have seen African children arrested for bringing play money. We have seen the natural hairstyles and head wraps of African girls and boys criminalized, and African girls brutalized by campus police.
Africans are resisting colonial education. Homeschooling is on the rise, but African families that received cash aid from the government are not eligible for homeschooling. If they remove their children from the colonial education system, their children can be kidnapped by Child Protective Services.
Single parents with jobs as well as African households where two parents work and barely survive, cannot afford homeschooling.
What is the solution? The solution is Black Community Control of Schools. We talk with:
Chimurenga Selembao, leader in the development of the Marcus Garvey Academy, a proposed charter school in St. Petersburg, Florida. He also ran for Pinellas County School Board on a platform of Black Community Control of Schools.
Maisha Kudumu, director of Uhuru Shule Virtual Freedom School, an initiative created by the Uhuru Movement in San Diego to assist African families following the shutdown of local schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uhuru Shule also teaches self-determination to African parents and children. Maisha is a mother of two children. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a Master’s degree in Counseling. As a young activist, Maisha participated in the Center for Parent Involvement in Education, a grassroots initiative created by her parents–also lifelong education activists, to promote self-determination of African parents and children as the key to educational success.
This episode is hosted by Tiana Afrika. The weekly People’s War Radio Show features guests covering all aspects of the struggle against colonial violence, from COVID-19 to police occupation.