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African-American Women’s Oral Histories Provide Motivation for Children

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s mission of helping people help themselves through education is a theme echoed in the work of the Boys, Girls, Adults Community Development Center (BGACDC), Marvell, Arkansas. The center is a grassroots organization that aims to improve the overall quality of life for the poor, mainly African-American Delta residents, by empowering them to help themselves. 

BGACDC is in the process of documenting the lives of African-American women in the hopes of using their oral histories as the basis for social and economic development.

“The grant is important to us because if young people don’t know their history, they are doomed to repeat it,” says Beatrice Clark Shelby, executive director of BGACDC. “It is our hope that the lessons of history will serve as a motivation for children. They will understand that education is the best avenue out of poverty.  They will see how their ancestors lived and know the importance of affordable and decent housing.” 

For additional information on BGACDC and their project documenting the lives of African-American women, please visit their Web site at http://www.ruralisc.org/bga_history.htm.

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