The purpose of this brief guide is to help you overstand what you should look for in reading, listening to, viewing and critically analyzing the audio, video, pictorial and textural contents of RBG's curricula. We mean for you to pay particular attention to the interaction between images, lyrics, rhythms and spoken word.
In keeping with the spirit of Sankofa ("return and get it" a West African Symbol of Adinkra Wisdom representing the importance of our learning from the past) you should keep in mind that in the societies of our Afrikan ancestors and current kinsman the oral tradition was / is the method of choice in which history, stories, folktales and spirtual beliefs were /are passed on from generation to generation. Webster's dictionary defines "oral" as, "spoken rather than written," and it defines the word "tradition" as, "transmittal of elements of a culture from one generation to another especially by oral communication." It is the power of the Afrikan oral tradition integrated with written documentation that lays at the core of our trailblazing teaching / learning methodology.
Your studies, analysis and evaluations should constantly ask and answer “what a given classroom / subject / topic’s content is intending to elucidate (explain) — (ie. elements and aspects of oppression or liberation); and always why and how. RBG Street Scholars Think Tank is essentially a concentricly integrated articulation of and defense for a radically progressive Afri-educational process. With strick attention to developing our student’s basic education skills in the context of the highest standards of academic excellence, suitable for one to confidently sit for high stake exams, we simultaneously advance the psycho-emotional healing and spiritual upliftment of our people by providing knowledge, wisdom and overstanding of the historo-cultural, socio-political and psycho-educational experiences of Africans in America in away that radically reappraises education from the pained and angry perspective of the oppressed black community.
The content and methods of our school are meant to demonstrates how the mediums of Afrikan American music, spoken word and images have been/ are used to create incarcerated minds, bodies and spirits; and thus in turn, how they can as well be used to foster physical, mental and spiritual liberation. Historically (particularly over the past 20 years) mainstream educators have resisted a critical analysis of urban music and culture in the form of hip-hop/rap from an Africentric academic perspective, not realizing the significant positive impact this genre of music can have on the Afrikan worldview and Afrikan peoples views of the world. However, popular music and images are made by someone (corporate profiteers, with two ends in view—the propagation of white supremacy (black oppression) and money. Thus, we contend that rap music/hip-hop culture can be offered in such a way that it EduTains -analyzing racism, capitalism, sexism and other manifestations of national oppression- as well as be enjoyed as entertainment. One of the communiversity's main goals is for the learner to formulate a sophisticated socio-political and historo-cultural “over-standing” of the present condition of the masses of our people and the poor-at home and abroad. Thus, you will be equipped with a cultural orientation suited for further Afrikan-centered socialization. We believe that such an academic pursuit is vitally necessary because the Eurocentric education /acculturation process, that we most frequently pursue in America for a job, more frequently than not poisons our individual and collective aspirations of national liberation and self determination as an Arikan people.
Historically poetry/ rap, literature and music have been combined to play a pivotal role in black progress and power in the Americas. It all goes back to the power and central role of the Afrikan oral tradition. For example, our ancestors communicated with drums. “Because of the perceived potential of the talking drum to "speak" in a tongue unknown to slave traders and thus to incite rebellion, revolt, resistance and revolution, in 1838 these and other drums were banned from use by African in the United States. RBG Street Scholars Think Tank intends to serve as a premier “New-Age Talking Drum”.
There are several main reasons for the school’s audio-visual (Radio and TV driven) primacy:
Firstly,we believe that the ultimate end of intellectual growth and development for students of Afrikan decent in 21st America is, first and foremost, a deeper overstanding and a fuller appreciation of Afrikan peoples continuing struggle for individual and collective liberation. Reading, thinking, looking and listening with close attention to the curricula scholastic guidance you learn to see more, understand more and uncover more, thus preparing for a richer, more selfless and more meaningful contributions to self and kind.
Secondly, as music and videos use artful combinations of language and images, the essential processes of meaning-making, to formulate ideas in the minds of the participants, critical analysis can lead to a more astute and powerful use of Black music and images (espically that of the Hip-Hop / Rap genre ) as tools Africentric cultural development and leadership training.
Thirdly, critical analysis of RBG’s audio-visual content and methods very efficiently teaches us to be aware of the cultural delineations of popular/ white corporate media, including its ideological elements and psyops motatives.
Finally, please remember, education is not eternal and timelessly written in stone, but should be situated historically, socially, intellectually, written and read at particular times, with particular intents, under particular historical conditions, with particular cultural, racial, class and other relavent perspectives in view. Through multimedia learning we can see ideology in operation. We think this new style of teaching/learning is of particular use in an age where so many of us, sad to say, don't read, but use popular media as a sole source of information. In this sense, RBG Street Scholars Think Tank is a countervailing force.