As African American parents, Pamela and Jeffrey Blair of St. Louis, Missouri, always taught their four children about their history and helped them to develop a positive self-image. They told stories about their lives, their grandparent’s lives and their families’ migration from the Caribbean.

When the Blairs started homeschooling the children in grade school, they noticed the lack of books featuring African-American contributions to society. Instead, the curriculum focused only on slavery and famous figures like Martin Luther King Jr. – limited lessons that offered a narrow view of the history, heroes, and accomplishments of African Americans.

Rather than acquiesce, they snapped into action.

“We had to create material based on our own research,” Pamela Blair says. “We utilized our family historian and the children’s grandfather, Shadrock Porter. Also African American history professors, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Smithsonian Institution and various black-owned bookstores.”

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KOLUMN Magazine celebrates the lives of People of Color by giving our world texture.