by A’dia Dickers ’16 (Whitfield School ’22)

Over the years I have learned to know my history, my African-American history. My father is big on Africa: the geography, the people, and our roots. He has given me books and maps of Africa. He often tells me stories of my ancestors. When I was younger I thought, why does it matter if know my history or not? Can’t we just go play outside? I realize now it does matter. This I believe: history is important.

It may seem like you know everything, but there is always something new to learn. Did you know Africa has 20+ dynasties, and that the lower part of Egypt is actually the upper part since the Nile River flows north?

I know learning history may be a drag, but it is vital. Learning our history builds self-esteem because if you are proud of who you truly are, your love for yourself will be so strong that nothing can bring you down. To this day I am proud of who I have become. I have grit. Obstacles are everywhere. Maybe I failed my English paper. Okay, but how can I improve? By studying Jim Crow laws, I learned that obstacles can be overcome. African-Americans were segregated to separate water fountains, restaurants, and bus seats. My ancestors fought and protested for my civil rights. Even though fighting was often futile, they fought anyway. Why didn’t they give up? They had heart. Heart is not just the organ in your chest you can sometimes feel beating. Heart is how you feel when scared, happy, or inspired. My ancestors definitely made history, and inspired me to make history were ever I go but I can’t do it alone.

At City Academy, my friends and I have left behind a mark of love and leadership. But know we are moving on to great secondary schools. My future school is Whitfield School, but I will never forget the family I made at City Academy. I love you Class of 2016. Knowing our history gives us character, and teaches us to love ourselves and the people around us. This I believe: history is important.

blog_adiaA’dia with Don Danforth and Stephanie Oteng at graduation

Students like A’dia are able to receive exceptional education, be empowered to learn about their history, and become remarkable leaders because of the community’s support. If you are inspired to empower students like A’dia, learn more about ways you can donate to City Academy:

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