The time has come once again, as it does every year, for parents, teachers, and students to do the mad dash to finish the all important “back to school shopping.” This is not really an issue for me… I don’t have any children and I’m not in that mad rush. Even so, I have always said… “When I have children… Imma home school” I didn’t really know what that meant, and had never really thought out exactly how that would work but I DEFINITELY knew homeschooling… with all of the rights and wrongs, challenges and success, would be a part of my future. Today there are more and more families choosing to home school. The idea of homeschooling isn’t as far-fetched as it usta seem. And I still have plans to home school when my time comes. Why home school?? Because I believe the school/FOOL system is NOT doin right by my community. Every year, when “back to school shopping ensues” I am reminded that the children in my community are moving forward excitedly to walk into a building/a system that unfortunately does not respect or understand what makes them tick. They are walking into a danger zone. One that leaves them without a knowledge or a love of self. One that leaves them lost and confused. One that leaves them continually searching for their purpose, their story, their opportunity. QUESTION: What is the solution and who is protecting the spirit of our children?
ANSWER: A few months ago my brother Samori published a kindle book. Education for Liberation: The Top 20 Questions and Answers for Black Homeschoolers.
Now, Samori is NOT my biological brother. He’s a brother from another mother but he truly is like the little brother I never had. Whenever I see him, which is fairly often, he ALWAYS has something smart to say, always debating, sometimes getting on my nerves… AND makes me VERY proud. The more I see him, watch him, hear him and learn of the things he is doing I am proud. When his book was first published I promised him a shout out on my blog. I bought the book, read the first 20 pages and well…. Yall know the rest of that story *looks away in shame*
Last week, I was on facebook and saw a post from his facebook page: Kamali Academy an Afrikan Centered Home School. “To start Black August, we have put our online classes up for preorders with a discount. The price will go back to the regular price in two weeks. Spots are limited! Classes start Sept. 2nd. www.KamaliAcademy.com/online-classes”
WAIT!! WHAT!?! This brother is doin it again!! I say again cause he is always doing something new and great and quite honestly I can’t keep up. I woke this morning and realized it’s a beautiful day to #BirthSomethingBeautiful, as it always is, and today I decided I was gonna birth a blog post to shout out Baba Dr. Brother. Samori Camara (A.K.A. – Brother Afrika) As a side note… that A.K.A. means Affectionately Known As and as I finished this blog post and allowed him to read it… Said brother told me I needed to add all that. I agreed because I started the Brother Afrika thing anyway and so well…. I did as he asked… but I digress.
I initially met Samori while hanging out and about in the city of New Orleans. We were introduced by a mutual acquaintance. I looked at this young man before me with these pretty locks wearing a dashiki and learned he was finishing up his Doctorate before the age of 30. Always impressed by THAT, we continued to talk and I learned he was opening his first Afrikan Centered school for children in New Orleans. I thought… “Here is a young man who sees it, knows it and DOES it.” Ya gotta love it.
That was a few years ago and since that time I have come to know him more. He has proven to be a leader, a progressive thinker, and a real champion of Afrikan people. He loves Afrikan children and he is all about WORKING to build their minds and their spirits. Today he is the director of Kamali Academy and not only is he helping to change the lives of the children he works with here in NOLA he is working with Afrikan families nationwide (likely worldwide) through his online education curriculums… Available up to and including an 8th grade curriculum *in my fast infomercial voice*
I asked Samori recently… Why Kamali Academy? He first let me know that Kamali (which come from the South African Language Shona) means “The spirit that protects the youth” I loved that immediately. Kinda like a midwife ya know? We are in many ways spirits that protect the entry way for the youth. It’s also a great name for Samori’s Academy as he too is that spirit. He tells me “the public fool system is dealing death and we want to save our children from that.”
No matter where your children are being educated, whether at home, in a private school or in the “public fool system” if you are a parent of Afrikan children you really should get to know the works of Samori and Kamali Academy. “The Kamali Academy uses an Afrikan-centered, project-based curriculum, which places the development of an Afrikan consciousness at its center. This curriculum has been developed to maximize the effectiveness of the transgenerational transmission of our ancestral traditions, morals, and worldview in a family environment. Kamali not only inspires and trains its students to solve specific issues that plague our community, it also develops leaders who can adapt to whatever problem might be thrust upon our Afrikan nation—no matter what continent, no matter what conditions, no matter what form of warfare, no matter what enemy.”
I have to be honest, Samori motivates me to want to learn more, strive more, do more and reach more. Being a midwife, a doula, a birth worker… yall know… this work… it’s an honor. It’s a humbling privilege. We are the ones that help women “give light.” We are the ones that help create/maintain a sacred space for birth. We are the ones that protect the spirit of the youth as they enter into this world. It’s wonderful to know that once my job is done, there are people like Samori who will grab the baton and continue to protect their spirits. When I am so blessed to bring forth life into this world, it will be an honor to trust my children, their minds, and their spirits to the hands of Dr. Samori Camara. He is indeed doing what it takes to Birth Something Beautiful and to help our children do the same.
Fist Up Brotha Afrika… Revolutionary Love!
Do you homeschool? Do you know Dr. Samori? Share your story!