The Black Family Tree
Bill Cosby and Dr. Poussaint’s book, Come On People, provides great insight into the ills of the Black community. The resounding theme is many in the Black community do not know who they are. Therefore, they will continue down a road of destruction until the Black community returns to its strong family history. This experiment is a result of a blog I wrote called “Black Community, Are You Angry Yet?” which challenged the Black community to take responsibility and be accountable to itself for its own ills. After much debate, comments, and dialogue with supporters and dissenters, the resounding concern is that Blacks do not know who they are. The ultimate goal of this project is to assess the impact on the participating Black families as they discover and document their family history and heritage.
This project is about discovery. This is your legacy. Do not get frustrated, disappointed, or discouraged. If you find yourself feeling these emotions, just think about the wonderful information you will discover about your heritage. Keep your head up and press on. Remember, if you do not know all the answers, you can ask those closest to you, or go to your local library and a librarian can help guide you to where public records are located.
This project was born out of Ms. Burton’s passion for learning and discovery. Since childhood, she has been fascinated with history and culture. After reading Bill Cosby and Dr. Alvin Poussaint’s book, “Come One People” (2007), Ms. Burton realized the need to help Black children and their families learn how valuable they are as a people. Her motto: “Without a family map, we are destined to continue to go nowhere.”
This project consists of workshops to help Black children and their families discover their heritage by developing a family tree booklet. This family tree booklet will aid them in learning where they come from, to whom they belong, and most importantly, discover who they are. The expected outcome is not only a tangible record of their family history, but an improved self-image and self-esteem through discovery of their family’s long, rich heritage. This workshop will help Black family member find their way home together.