By Taki S. Raton
The “Young, Gifted & Black” (YG&B) series is adornfully featured in this year’s African Global Images, Inc. (AGI) exhibit at the MATC’s downtown campus, 700 West State Street.
Thirty-four 7 X 8 inch individualized color foam core mounted headlined profiles are arranged throughout the eight cases of the 89 item AGI installation housed on the second floor corridor of MATC’s “M” building.
For this the third consecutive year, AGI has been invited back to the State street campus in honor and recognition of Black History Month under the banner theme on this 2015 occasion, “Presence, Invention, Civilization In Black – Models Of Excellence, Accomplishment and Mastery On The Global Stage Of Time And Achievement.”
The installation has been requested for a week’s extension from the scheduled February 28 closing to Friday, March 6, 2015.
“Congratulations to African Global Images for their week’s extension of the Black History Month presentation,” said James Byas, MATC alumni now working in the Tutoring Services Outreach Program.
“Each year there are additions to the cases revealing more and more about our history,” he adds.
Under the sponsorship of the President’s Diversity Council of Milwaukee Area Technical College, this AGI visual presentation has as its purpose to document the unbroken legacy of African World accomplishment, invention and civilizing masterful engagement from humankind beginnings into present day African American success exemplars.
A primary focus of this exhibit is to evidence that the talents, skills, genius, performance and contributions of African World people – to include African Americans in the United States – reflect a continuous connected legacy of masterful accomplishments throughout the world and even in North America under the most horrific, oppressed, brutal and subjugated of circumstances.
Exhibit sections include Humankind Beginnings, Nubia, The Ancient Egyptians/ Kemites Were Black, Classical African/Kemetic Accomplishments, Great African Kingdoms, Africans in Asia and in South America, The Golden Age of the Moors, the eras of Enslavement, Reconstruction and Jim Crow, A Salute to Black Inventors, Before Rosa Parks, Little Known Facts of History and 2014 Victories.
This connected legacy of accomplishment is highlighted and continues in the profile samples of the next generation of excellence, mastery and genius of Black children and youth nationally and globally as documented in this Milwaukee Courier Newspaper series.
Each respective YG&B featurette titles the headline of the profile, the feature date and the series picture with name identification.
In Case One, for example, the profiles of Stephen Stafford is included noting his November 9, 2013 article, “YG&B Scholars Included Among ‘World’s 50 Smartest Teenager’s List.’”
Joining Stephen is the November 15, 2014 featurette on Anala Beevers headlined, “4-Year-Old’s IQ in the Top 1 Percent of the World’s Population” and Romarni Widfred who in the June 7, 2014’s YG&B is written of the 11-year-old England scholar who has an IQ “higher than Einstein.”
The third and fourth cases are prime examples of a continuous and connected legacy of accomplishment and achievements in the African World.
Case 3 shares information on Imhotep who 4,715 years ago in 2700 B.C.E. represents the earliest known physician of record and is additionally described as the world’s first multi-genius having been revered as an astronomer, philosopher, poet and physician.
Imhotep is coupled with a display item noting the Edwin Smith Papyrus where over 3,565 years ago in 1550 B.C.E. a page is displayed revealing that the ancient Black/African Egyptian had anatomical knowledge of the brain, face, neck, thorax, spinal column, and the appropriate surgical methods for attending to them.
Below and to the left of Imhotep and the Edwin Smith Papyrus in this presentation case is the YG&B featurette of Tony Hansberry II who on February 11, 2012, the series proudly prepared his writing titled “African American Youth Invents Surgical Techniques at Age 14.”
Our African Egyptian/ Kemetic ancestors even upwards of 2,215 years ago had knowledge of heavier-than-air flight technology.
A model is shown in the AGI’s display of a monoplane glider which has negative dihedral angled wings providing greater stability in flight and an airlined shape increasing in thickness under the wing area and then tapering off as it extends to the tail section.
This remarkably futuristic wooden glider created by our African ancestors in 200 B.C.E. bears a close resemblance to the American Hercules transport aircraft which also has negative dihedral wings.
Not surprisingly in the adjoining case prior are featurettes of a young aviator in training, Johnathan Strickland, who in our February 25, 2012 YG&B series profiled his story, “The Sky Is No Longer the Limit, Six World Records at 16-Years-Old.”
We wrote about Johnathan again two years later on March 1, 2014 in the YG&B bi-weekly, “Aviation Record Holder Among World’s Youngest Commercial Airlines Pilot.”
Joining Johnathan in this achievement across the seas is Favour Odozor who on May 17, 2013, the series headlined his accomplishment on becoming “Nigerian Youngest Commercial Pilot in Nigeria and South Africa.”
Just in passing to mention a point in this category, also included in the AGI installation is Bessie Coleman who in 1921 became the first African American female licensed pilot.
It should be noted herein that the reason the names “Egypt/Kemet” are used in this treatment is that “Egypt” is a Greek term and not the name that our African ancestors called their land.
The Classical African called their land “Kemet” – the “Black Land or the “Land of the Blacks” and called themselves “Kemites.” The name “Egypt” was later brought in and used by conquers, invaders and latter day foreign rulers of Kemet.
“Presence, Invention, Civilization In Black” in Case 4 additionally speaks to the Kemetic Tomb of Senet dated 4,665 years ago in 2650 B.C.E. “Senet,” history informs us, is actually a board game and would be perhaps the oldest board game known to man.
It dates back from around 3100 to 2650 B.C.E and existed both in Pre- Dynastic and Dynastic Kemet.
This game is a predecessor to what would become backgammon, checkers and chess and reveals Kemetic women with braided hair styling playing the game.
The pieces being played heavily resemble kings and pawns on today’s chess board – 4,665 years ago.
In the section on “The Golden Age of the Moors” in the same casing, we also find Moorish men of African descent playing the “Senet” game with clearly defined pieces resembling today’s chess board.
The African Moors occupied Europe over 781 years from 711 to 1492 A.D.
The civilizing presence, knowledge, sharing and contribution of the Moors brought Europe out their dark ages.
Appropriately, YG&B has written several articles on outstanding youthful African American chess players around the country to include the headline achievements of Diamond Abdus-Shokoor, Joshua Colas, Rochelle Ballantyne, James Black Jr. and Justus Williams, all represented in Case 4.
16-year-old Joshua in our recent January 10, 2015 YG&B edition seeks to become the “Youngest African American Chess Grandmaster in History.”
Both the then 12-yearold St. Louis native Diamond Abdus-Shakoor and Rochelle Ballantyne have their sights on becoming the first African American female Grandmaster.
Rochelle was spotlighted in the YG&B October 12, 2013 headline, “Brooklyn Teen Represents United States in World Chess Tournament.”
James Black, Jr., and Justice Williams, along with Joshua Colas, are praised in the YG&B April 17, 2012 writing, “African American Males Continue Black Chess Master Legacy” as the world’s youngest African American male chess masters.
Young African American entrepreneurs from around the country are poised in Case 7. Highlighted are Jaylen Bledsoe, Moziah Bridges, Gabrielle Jordan Williams, Warren Cassell, Jr., Maya Penn, Cory Neives, Evan White, and most recently, Asia Newson.
Asia was included in our December 12, 2014 writing, “Detroit’s 11-Year- Old Entrepreneur’s Perfect Pitch “Could sell dust to a desert.”
New Jersey born Evan at the age of 17 is an author and a “’Whiz” at Business Finance” in our September 20, 2014 YG&B feature and Cory, to mention a few, on August 23, 2014 is the “Stylish New Jersey 10- Year-Old” who is CEO of his own cookie company.
The 34 YG&B featurettes, as earlier noted, has turned out to be a significant added attraction to this year’s AGI installation.
“It was really great this year to see included the achievements of our children from the “Young, Gifted & Black” series.
This attraction really drew a lot of people to the display who were walking past. They were then able to get a closer look at the entire case,” says Byas.
Says Walter J. Lanier, Chair of MATC’s President Diversity Council on the ACI project this year: “We are greatly appreciative of the rich investment of the time, attention, and scholarship as presented by Global African Images in this 2015 Black History Month exhibit.”
This year’s installation is dedicated to the memory of Ron W. Pounds who joined the ancestors on December 6, 2014.
Upon the return of he and his wife Lillian from a 1987 life-changing voyage to Kemet with the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC), Pounds co-founded and headed the local Milwaukee Chapter of ASCAC where he embraced the true history and meaning of Classical African culture and its connection to the bloodline and unique life experiences and accomplishments of Blacks in America.
Power point presentations on the display were shared on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at the MATC West campus, 1200 South 71st. Street, and the State Street location on Wednesday, February 25.
Please contact Marvette Cox in the Department of Counseling and Advising, (414) 297-8027, for any further information on the installation at MATC or AGI for workshops and continuing exhibit schedules at email@example.com.