Relearning Our African American History & Culture

We value the positioning of our work and our lived experiences in a larger narrative that is rooted in the deep and broad impact of African contributions to the world stage. We believe it is important to give voice to a fuller story of African history and culture in order to better understand and appreciate our ancestral heritage, properly contextualize our present conditions, and effectively marshal the resources necessary to create a more equitable future.

We recognize that AANL organizations serve a broad and varied population of individuals, families and communities – not all of our participants are African American. But all of our participants can benefit from amplification of the African culture in context. For example, it is as valuable for afterschool program participants to attend traditional African dance presentations as it is for them to attend the ballet; it is as beneficial for them to learn about mindfulness practices as it is for them to learn that many of the related techniques such as breathwork came from years of studying the ancient practices of African people.

The contributions of people of African descent to the world story and the American story are comprehensive, inspirational and powerful; we affirm this cultural foundation for our collective efforts. Each month, we compile and share a 1-page profile of people, places, and concepts related to our African American history and culture.  Please take a moment to review the first seven profiles in our collection below, and be sure to visit this site for regular updates. Also, we hope you will join in conversation about these profiles on our social media pages!