Scholastic
Source
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.

Africa's Influence

America’s diversity born of three cultures 400 years ago

By Aubrey Hodges | April 26 , 2007

two kid reporters with Dr. Rex Ellis
Dr. Rex Ellis in his office in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, with Scholastic Kid Reporters Chanta Johnson and Aubrey Hodges in November 2006. (Photo by Suzanne Freeman)

I recently spent a day in Jamestown, Virginia reporting on the upcoming 400th anniversary celebration of America’s first settlement. Along with Yorktown and Williamsburg, Jamestown is part of the Historic Triangle of Virginia.

Settlers first came to Jamestown from Europe in 1607. Three different groups of people who converged there helped shape what this country is today. They are American Indian, European, and African. The mix of cultures helped make America one of the most diverse societies on earth.

I learned all this from Rex Ellis, who is an expert on the African influence. Ellis is co-chair of the Jamestown 2007 African-American Advisory Council and vice president of the historic area for Colonial Williamsburg.

Listening to him was an inspiration. As we spoke, he looked me straight in the eye. Many of the things he said touched my heart.

He told us about the 20 or so slaves who first came to America in 1619, eight years after the founding of Jamestown. They were brought here from Angola, Africa, as forced labor. It took almost 300 years for African-Americans to gain their freedom.

“I don’t know too many places in the world where you can begin as my community [African-Americans] began here and arrive where I happen to find myself now,” Ellis said. “That to me is the genius of America, that no matter who you are, the potential of your being more and greater than you are is hardwired into the culture.

“African history is American history,” he said.

Everyone in my group was impressed with how deep Dr. Ellis’s feelings were on the subject of Jamestown and the history of African-Americans. He was doing his job telling people how he felt about the topic. To me, he was a true inspiration.

Video: An Interview With Dr. Rex Ellis

In this video, Dr. Rex Ellis talks to Scholastic Kid Reporters Chanta Johnson and Aubrey Hodges about Africa's influence on the Jamestown settlement.

Celebrate Jamestown

Commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown with Scholastic News Online.

 

About the Author

Aubrey Hodges is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Coming on Home Soon

    Coming on Home Soon

    by Jacqueline Woodson and E. B. Lewis

    "They're hiring colored women in Chicago since all the men are off fighting in the war." And so Ada's mother leaves in search of a job. "Perfectly matched words and illustrations masterfully bring to life the emotions a little girl experiences as she, her grandmother, and a stray kitten comfort and console one another."—SLJ

    $3.71 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grade 2
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Coming on Home Soon
    Grade 2 $3.71
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Comprehension Clubs Complete Set Grades 6-8

    Comprehension Clubs Complete Set Grades 6-8

    Authored by Dr. Irene Fountas and Dr. Gay Su Pinnell, Scholastic's Comprehension Clubs for Grades K-8 brings deep reading, deep thinking, and deep discussion to the whole class. This new full year curriculum, soon available for grades 6-8, was specifically built for the Common Core State Standards. Comprehension Clubs gives students and teachers the opportunity to talk, think and write about text through Student Book Clubs and Interactive Read Alouds. As middle school students advance in their reading abilities and develop their analytical skills, Comprehension Clubs provides teachers the scaffolding to create student-driven conversation guided by meaningful questions and diverse overarching themes. Students of all levels are given the agency to voice their opinions and share perspectives with peers.

    Complete 6-8 set includes:
    • Teaching Guide by Fountas & Pinnell
    • 90 Read Aloud picture books
    • 90 Read Aloud lesson cards
    • 72 Book Club titles (72 titles, 10 copies each, 720 books)
    • 72 Book Club lesson cards
    • 72 Audio books
    • 18 Unit folders

    Set Includes:
    • 562137 Comprehension Clubs Grade 6 Set
    • 562138 Comprehension Clubs Grade 7 Set
    • 562136 Comprehension Clubs Grade 8 Set

    Call 1-800-387-1437 for more information!

    $5,125.00 You save: 44%
    Paperback Book and Streaming Audio | Grades 6-8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Comprehension Clubs Complete Set Grades 6-8
    Grades 6-8 $5,125.00
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com