News form the Mission
“Family History” starts National African American History Month
January 26, 2012
“Success isn’t going into space, it is being what you want to be,” said Embassy Political Officer Kyle Jemison to a group of high school students at the Mae Jemison U.S. Science Reading Room on January 26, 2012. He and Counselor Cherie Jackson presented sessions on “Family History” to commence National African-American History Month celebrations in Mamelodi.
Both Jemison and Jackson traced American history and their respective family histories to the days of slavery. Mr. Jemison’s discussion held a particular interest to students because the science library was named after his aunt, Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut to fly to space.
Ms. Jackson and Mr. Jemison discussed the history of the slavery trade in the Americas, which brought millions of Africans to the continent, and highlighted significant events in U.S. history that held historical and personal significance to them, including the rise of the Civil Rights Movement.
“I learned that it is important not to forget about who you are and where you come from,” said library member Marvin Lukas, a frequent Mae Jemison U.S. Science Reading Room visitor.
“Family History” is part of the African-American History Month lecture series organized by the Mission's Outreach Bureau, an initiative that provides U.S. Mission officers as speakers for South African audiences countrywide.