Sunday, March 1, 2020

Gamma Pi Brings Black History to Life with its QUE Kidz Program

Bro. Ken Jones talks with students

With its monthly sessions, Gamma Pi’s Que Kidz program opens doors on the world for the young preteens who live in the underserved Prince George’s County community of Kentland. For Black History Month, the Brothers threw wide open the doors to the history of African Americans with an entertaining and educational program held at the Kentland Community Center on Saturday, February 22.

The group was small, but the lessons were big. Members of the chapter used the morning to share the biographies of historical Black Americans, lead the youth in history-based trivia games, screen short powerful YouTube mini-documentaries about the Black Experience in the United States and share their own personal stories of racial struggles in America. The youth were wide-eyed and seemed fascinated by the stories and bout the contributions of the African Americans who paved the way before them. Not all of the names of historical figures were household names.

Youth raises hand to ask a question
During the program, the youth were encouraged to relate their own personal stories and ask questions. They wanted to know what I was like during the Civil Rights struggle? How did segregation affect their families growing up? How did Barack Obama become the nation’s first Black president?  Why did African Americans drink out of different water foundations or ride in the back of buses? Some of the questions were sensitive personally, such as students asking why were they seemingly treated differently than other kids in class?  Or, what if someone makes a racially sensitive remark in their presence?

As the noon hour approached, the students were served lunch. That gave them a chance to discuss what they had learned and to continue asking questions. The Brothers of Gamma Pi had a goal with the program, and they accomplished it. They wanted the youth to leave the Kentland Center feeling a sense of pride and self-worth from their heritage. They did.

All in all, it was a productive morning of education and fun. For these youths, Black History Month leaped from the pages of the history book and into their hearts and minds. It became real.


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