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Parent Action Coalition for Education: How Education Impacted and Influenced Famous Black People Lives?

The Southern Truth

Parent Action Coalition for Education: How Education Impacted and Influenced Famous Black People Lives?

Gloria Zuurveen

Parent Action Coalition for Education (PACE) focus on educating youth and young adults through mentoring, training and preparing them for life-skills and what better way to educate than to show by examples of excellence in education and how individuals were influenced by others through their educational matriculation. Education starts at home and it should be reinforced in the classroom. Somehow, over the course of, at least 60 decades, we’ve got it wrong. Education has always started at home with parents and extended family members who passed it down after they had matriculated to a higher level or like, Ruby Dee’s mom, she was a school-teacher.  It was a normal process that they would teach us what we didn’t know especially for many Blacks in the South who were just coming out of  Jim Crow. Jim Crow was a time that it was illegal to know and for one of our family members who got the chance to learn it was time for them to gather around the family and for them to put on an oratorical show. But now, no. This is not so but I am admonishing all of us to change the game and bring back the basics 3 Rs because the crucial fact is that we are losing to many of our children to illiteracy and from not having a real quality educational reality. We need each other to help guide the way and to wake up the masses to start classes in the community wherever spaces or places or faces are allowed for teaching each and every day because there are too many of our youth and young adults who have been passed on through generations of social promotion and they did not not get the basic reading, writing, and arithmetic and so now too many of them are stuck in a rut, unlearned, and can’t keep up.  This PACE message of how education impacted and influenced famous Black people lives is just the beginning of our mission to reach one and teach one until the literacy game is won. Until then, here we go with Ruby Dee and how education impacted and influenced her life.

I introduced Ms. Ruby Dee to the Eso Won Bookstore audience during Ms. Dee’s book signing.

Ruby Dee was born as Ruby Ann Wallace on October 27, 1924, in Cleveland, Ohio. Her parents, Marshall and Emma Wallace, in search of better job opportunities, moved the family to New York City, ultimately settling in Harlem. Emma Wallace was determined not to let her children become victims of the ghetto that the area was quickly becoming. Dee and her siblings studied music and literature. In the evening, under the guidance of their school-teacher mother, they read aloud to each other from the poetry of Longfellow, Wordsworth, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. The influence of this education became apparent early in Dee’s life when as a teenager she began submitting poetry to the New York Amsterdam News, a black weekly newspaper.

She Pursued education

Dee’s love of English and poetry motivated her to study the arts. She attended Hunter High School, one of New York’s first-rate schools that drew the brightest girls. While in high school, Dee decided to pursue acting. After graduation Dee entered Hunter College. There she joined the American Negro Theater (ANT) and adopted the stage name Ruby Dee. While still at Hunter College, Dee took a class in radio training offered through the American Theater Wing. This training led to a part in the radio serial Nora Drake. After college Dee worked as a French and Spanish translator. She knew, however, that the theater was to be her destiny.

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Parents are the first educators and Ms. Dee’s story attest to that truth. Parents should be the primary educators who set the right environment for children to flourish and grow.

The Southern Truth

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