The pupils of the Sharon Primary School got their African Awareness month celebrations off to a start this morning at the Sharon Moravian Church in a special service dubbed African Assembly.
Led by historian Trevor Marshall, he took the students on a journey, giving them insight in to their culture and reminded them why it was important to know where they came from.
Marshall too provided the entertainment for the children and instructed them in many African dances and songs.
The children thoroughly enjoyed this session and joined Marshall in singing and some of the dances.
However, while it may have been a fun morning for the children, the historians said sessions like those were important in the growth of every child, stressing the importance of them knowing where they came from.
“I’ve been doing this for some time now once I’m invited. And I enjoy it. I look at four points, hair and hair preparation, food, dance and religion. As a historian for the last 40 years teaching at various universities here, Trinidad and Jamaica, I’ve accumulated knowledge about the African heritage. There is no better place to expand on it and to deliver it, than at this level. Hopefully one of two or ten of these here understand that we are of African decent. I brought along this thing about DNA. Who discovered DNA and to talk to them about the fact that you can do DNA testing and discover where you came from,” he explained.
Marshall said it was quite concerning that children in this country did not know much about their heritage.
“I do know that we don’t know enough about our African heritage and some don’t even know where Africa is. This should be taught at every level.
In all other countries, all the people accept that their DNA is African. Only in Barbados would you have some one extremely dark saying I’m not African. We are tired of saying to people that your DNA is African. They don’t accept that. Barbadians are the only people who don’t accept that their DNA is African. It’s a major issue. I don’t know if it’s a curriculum issue, maybe a matter of simple shame to be associated with Africa,” the historian said.