US Embassy in South Africa

Russell Brooks, public affairs officer for the United States Consulate General in Lagos, says black history should be taught in Nigerian schools as an inspiration for students to do greater things.

Brooks made this call at an event organized at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) at the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS) to commemorate the Black History Month in Lagos.

He said that many young Nigerians are unaware of the numerous contributions of Africans to global development.

“Schools need to celebrate black history, they have to get books on blacks’ achievement. Also, teachers need to be acquitted with black history. So the youths will have a sense of pride in what has been accomplished before them,” he said.

“For many, many years, not only were white Americans ignorant of the true history of Africans, and African-Americans, but many black Americans were just as oblivious to their history.

“On the African continent, I am sure you take great pride in the accomplishment of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Chinua Achebe…the need to tell our stories accurately, and with pride is just as important today as it is ever.”

Also speaking at the event, Folashade Ogunshola, UNILAG’s deputy vice chancellor for development service who represented the vice-chancellor, said the black history month is significant in communicating African resilience and creativity to the youths.

“It is a lesson for us because as Nigerians, we are also blacks. This world is getting smaller, so young people must know we have contributions to the world. We are not victims. We are strong and we are as good as anybody else. We will not lose that sense,” she said.

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