by Taki S. Raton
The Blyden Delany Academy student educational and social developmental model has been adopted by the Mary McLeod Bethune Saturday School (MMBSS), 4020 West Division Street, on Chicago’s West side.
Serving elementary and secondary level students from area public schools, the Bethune Saturday center will utilize the Milwaukee based consulting group Sabayet Educational Services to implement the first phase of program implementation.
A private school, Blyden Delany Academy operated for 10 years under the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program from 1998 to 2008.
The academy was known locally and nationally for its curriculum infusion of Classical African, Black historical, and African American exemplars to stimulate, cultivate and advance desired academic, ethical, social and cultural student growth outcomes.
“Representatives from our organization who would eventually open our Saturday school actually visited Blyden in 2004,” said Bethune school director Julie Davis.
“We were very impressed with the educational and cultural climate of the school, the positive demeanor of the students, their focus on their studies, their strong desire to succeed academically and their personal ideals for success,” Davis said.
“Blyden actually ingrained in its pupils a vision, path, and goal of schooling through elementary and high school to college and onward into their selective career streams,” Davis continued. “We are looking forward to having access to this model at this time when our children are challenged and influenced by popular culture trends.”
Supplementing continuing tutorial, academic enrichment and cultural instruction in the Bethune offerings, this first phase of the Blyden model will emphasize African world ethical and moral instruction, “Old School” teachings and civility orientation.
Instructional strategies, classroom climate enhancement, and curriculum designs will be structured in this fall planning to engage the Bethune student towards an outcome profile reflecting self-respect, respect for others, respect for elders, appropriate classroom behavior, multicultural pluralistic civility, preparation for responsible societal membership and the importance of literacy and proper personal decorum.
An accompanying Parents Handbook written to orientate parents and guardians and assist students at home in the mastery of Bethune’s instructional outcomes will also be prepared.
Sabayet Educational Services draws upon an esteemed tradition of African Centered educational and developmental instructional excellence for African American students in K4 through 12th grade learning levels that exemplifies models of–and paths–towards achievement and social development. Sabayet’s offers children classical, ancestral, historical, and modern instruction relating to the life experiences of African Americans.
Self-respect, group self-esteem, achievement ideals, civility and responsible citizenship always begins “in-house” within one’s family and within one’s community. It begins, notes the Sabayet purpose statement, with the best of who you are; with the best of what the group has been, and with the promise of greatness into which the group’s progeny can grow, become, and proudly carry forth into the future.
African Americans do not have an absence of models be they Classical African (Egypt/Kemet), traditional ancestral, or from our own unique North American experience.
African Americans, our community, and our children have an absence of vehicles, institutions and generational guides to effectively, dutifully and responsibly connect our children to their own – by Birthright – Higher Order exemplars of excellence, accomplishment, and prominence.
Blyden Delany Academy and similar African Centered schooling nationally were and are such institutional corridors connecting past and present day exemplar paths to our children.
The Blyden model used by the Mary McLeod Saturday School was also included in the educational plan submitted this past June 28 as part of the Southside Chicago Bronzeville Promise Neighborhood Initiative proposal to the White House in its national call-for-proposals by the Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhood development project.
An objective of the plan was the creation of the Washington Bouchet Education and Developmental Initiative (WBEDI). Named after Tuskegee Institute founder Booker T. Washington and Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first African American to earn a doctorate in the United States having received this distinction from Yale University in 1876, the WBEDI educational plan is additionally a proposal mandated reformat of the Blyden African Centered infused curriculum in the subjects of history, language arts, learning technology, cultural arts, social studies, and character development.
Full implementation of the Blyden model into the Bethune Saturday school curriculum would incorporate cross subject area and grade level appropriate learning agendas in the African Centered paradigm.
Liberian Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832-1912) was a renowned statesman, educator and author. He served Liberia as ambassador to Britain and France and as professor of classics at Liberia College from 1862 to 1871 and later as the college president from 1889 to 1894.
On February 8, 1865 during the Civil War, Martin R. Delany received the commission of Major in the Federal Army, the first Black man to receive such a rank. Delany was also a newspaper publisher, prominent spokesman for the abolitionist cause and medical doctor.
An accomplished author, his renowned work was the 1879 published title, “Principia of Ethnology – The Origin of Races and Color, With an Archaeological Compendium of Ethiopian and Egyptian Civilization.” The book details the African origins of Nile Valley civilizations.
Quoting Frederick Douglas on Delany, Douglas said that “I thank God for making me a man. But Delany always thanked God for making him a Black man.”
Taki S. Raton is a school consultant in the African Centered instructional model. He is a writer and lecturer on the national stage detailing African World historiography, urban community issues with emphasis on education and the social development of Black youth For questions, presentations and consultant arrangements, he can be reached at [email protected]