Many African American students know little about their ancestors. Given the chance to examine their own DNA and family histories, Gates argues, they are likely to become more engaged in their history and science classes. As they rescue their forebears from the anonymity imposed by slavery, students begin to understand their own place in the American story.
Could you imagine how much you would have learned in school if they would have introduced genealogy as a part of history and science? By making history and science personal and showing students how they can use this in real life, will open so many doors for the children. Not just African-American children, but all children.
Well, let me ask you this. How is your memory now that you’ve been doing genealogy? Mine is excellent. Remembering the facts of my ancestors come easily. However, if there is something I can’t quite remember, I know exactly where to look.
How is your knowledge of history? Mine is better than it was when I was in high school. Facts regarding the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil War are things I can now say I understand. Why? Because I have an ancestor to tie to this information. When you know an ancestor was involved in something major in American history, you tend to remember that more.