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  • ACLP

African Community Learning Program Rethinks Black History Month Celebration

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

Adama plans to present on Emmanuel Yeboah and Obama.

Students got their first peek at African Community Learning Program’s black historical figures list on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. The students were each to choose one person to present on in honor of February’s Black History Month. Some were quick to choose someone, but others needed more time to examine the names while some wanted to work on the same people

African Community Learning Program black historical figures’ list has a total of 23 people. The first 14 people have some connections to our curriculum, 19 are linked to Africa and America and are alive, all have contributed to black people's lives, and most are not celebrated during Black History Month.

“I will present on Emanuel and Obama,” Adama said after glancing the list.

“I want to present on Hazim.” Mageed said. Later Abdulrahaman, Motaz, and Ibra also chose Hazim. They will be working as group

“I want to present on you,” Raheemah told me. But she wasn’t done choosing.

She took her time to read and reread the individuals’ names, their countries, and positions. In preparation for tomorrow’s session, I passed out an excerpt from Trevor Noah’s book Born a Crime and showed a brief clip of him hosting the Daily Show. Raheemah found her second person from the list.

“I will talk about Trevor Noah too,” she said.

“Good, you got your second person,” I answered.

Pointing at chef Marcus Samuelsson’s name on the list, Helima asked me, “Can I present on him?”

“Go for it,” I replied.

Ezzeldin went with Sudanese peot Emtithal Mahmoud. More students will pick their black historical figures in the follow sessions.

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah is the first person ACLP students learned about in fall 2017.

The names of African Community Learning Program black historical figures are:

1. Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

2. Baba Wagué Diakité

3. Ilhan Omar

4. Aminata Sy

5. Hazim Hardeman

6. David Diop

7. Wangari Maathai

8. Lorene Cary

9. Emtithal Mahmoud

10. Georgie Badiel

11. Trevor Noah

12. Zeinab Badawi

13. Jocelyn Bioh

14. Barack Obama

15. Nelson Mandela

16. David Oyetokunbo Oyelowo

17. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

18. Marley Dias

19. Nancy Abu-Bonsrah

20. David Adjaye

21. Isha Sesay

22. Marcus Samuelsson

23. Cheikh Anta Diop

Aminata Sy is the founder and president of African Community Learning Program, a journalist, and a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studies international relations and English.

African Community Learning Program educates, connects, empowers, and supports people of African background in West Philadelphia.

To support African Community Learning Program visit and

or email Aminata Sy at

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