African American Arts Academy Builds Self-Esteem

Sandy Wells, West Virginia Gazette, April 12, 2011

Most campers from the African American Arts and Heritage Academy go on to college. Many achieve professional success. But benefits of the weeklong camp in Morgantown go beyond artistic and cultural education.

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In its 19th year, the camp offers classes, workshops, demonstrations and performance opportunities for 40 students ages 13 to 18. Students focus on a discipline of their choice.

Professional artists provide instruction in dance, theater, singing, music (including strings and steel drums), literature, visual arts, arts technology, museum studies, creative writing and songwriting.

The curriculum includes field trips and African-American history, an effort to fill some of the educational and cultural gaps that affect many state teenagers.

When the academy started, the site was a campground with makeshift classrooms. Now located at the Creative Arts Center on the WVU campus, the camp gives students a jump-start on college life, particularly helpful for eventual first-generation college students.

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  • Question Diversity

    Builds self-esteem? Blacks already have higher self esteem than whites, as an inverse of intelligence within a relevant range.

  • Anonymous

    What evidence is there that blacks suffer from a lack of self-esteem? I lived in a majority black city for years and I can testify that the vast majority of them are fantastically arrogant and full of themselves.

  • sbuffalonative

    “Michael has been coming to our academy for five years.”

    This is an issue that needs to be addressed.

    It always takes extra money and extra effort to help blacks.

    It took five times in this camp to help Michael. All these people and all this effort to help ONE black male.

    In a white classroom, you have one teacher teaching say 20 students. Not all of them are going to be successful, top-tier professionals but most will be socially functional and be prepared to provide for themselves. A couple won’t make it but most will.

    With blacks it’s nearly the opposite. Regardless of how much extra attention they’re given, a greater proportion barely make it.

    There’s no bang for the buck and little return on investment.

  • S.BuffaloNative

    A more appropriate history to teach these students is an African history of disease, war and societal backwardness. In America, an appropriate course would cover the genetic underpinnings of permanent social disadvantage resulting in the promotion of federal government plantation social liberalism.

    Blacks are incapable of building anything positive. Look at the entire continent of Africa. The only first world country in the black continent is the former white South Africa. When colonialsim fades, so did any chance of Africa escaping its utter depravation.

  • Anonymous

    In the full article, there is the statement: “The academy has applied for $5,000 to finance partial scholarships of $125 for 40 students.”

    This reveals two key facts:

    1-The attendees’ parents are willing to pay $125 for their children’s mental development. This is unusual commitment for Blacks.

    2-The Blacks at the school would rather be their, than have another pair of expensive footwear.

    This must be a very select group of Blacks.

  • HH

    The first two posters nailed it – the LAST thing modern Blacks need is MORE self-esteem!! These people hold themselves in extreme esteem – self absorbed to the core! Black-chauvanism is central to the whole “African-American” identity for heavens’ sake!

  • jack

    “Many achieve professional success.”

    Doubtful.

    What you mean is they end up getting hired under AA tyranny when they didn’t qualify to begin with.

  • Reformede

    All these blacks got special tutoring, special preference for college admission, special money for tuition…

    And they will bomb out like almost every college bound black does, and default on who knows how many loans and how much college debt.

    College campuses are a joke lately. I hear frequently of blacks being admitted to college with triple digit SAT scores only to enroll in remedial and 101 classes that they should have been able to pass in high school.

    Despite all the special programs, special admissions, special money, blacks can’t hack it. They don’t belong.

    Black male average SAT score is a bit under 900 out of a possible 2400. The only reason blacks are on campus are as tokens, to make the whites feel better, and to play sports to make the university a bunch of money.

  • Anonymous

    Students focus on a discipline of their choice.

    I’m guessing bump’n’grind dancing and lots and lots of rap…