April 11, 2020
Test your plagiarism skills is brought to you by Mut Griot Production. Answer a view questions to make sure you understand how to avoid plagiarism when writing your next research paper. Happy learning! Watch Video and Take Quiz here Plagiarism
April 6, 2020
This COVID-19 pandemic may bring about uncertainty among our youth. It is important to let children; especially young adults know they have a future. This is a good time to sit down with them to explore scholarships opportunities, college choices and preparation for college or entrepreneurship skills. Mut Griot Production has put together a few tips to help you plan your child’s future. If you don’t have children, then share with nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Post Something Good(Click to Enjoy Video)
March 29, 2020
Pass It On! Post Something Good! Every day I receive a daily news feed on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Notices about new cases and the increasing numbers of death. I read about social distancing and extended stay-at-home messages. But what compelled me to write this piece, is the stories I am not hearing. I am not hearing about the doctors, nurses, and medical professionals sleepless nights in treating people, staying away from their families. I am not hearing about the Educators who are remotely teaching children all over the United States, some globally. I am not hearing about the Librarians who are sharing digital resources for studying at home or tips on books, videos, and other FREE stuff online. I am not hearing about the police officers who are on duty keeping our communities safe. I am not hearing stories about the people who are still working in grocery stores or delivering food and other supplies. I am not hearing stories about our spiritual leaders who are encouraging people to have faith, stay calm, and don’t give in to being emotional. I am not hearing about the people who are delivering our mail, keeping our streets clean and picking-up our trash. I am not hearing about the people who are always on call.
There are many stories we are not hearing on the good people are doing. This is just my little news brief. I encourage you to Post Something Good that people are doing in your communities.
This resource list is provided by Mut Griot Production. Mut Griot Production created a storytelling blog to bring positive and historical stories to children throughout the globe. Starting next week, Nooma will provide African and African American Resources. Click here to review list: Educational Resources by Nooma
Enjoy these previous post.
March 22, 2018 (For the Black Family)
The history of Black people is so amazing. We have a rich history of struggle, triumph, and unconditional love. Our history stretches across the waters into the continent of Africa.
Where does one start when sharing the history of a people that impacted the world? I contemplated this question before writing this article. What I have concluded is that I will introduce a new book, Divine Kingship of Asante: A Model for Sustainable Development of Self & Community by Dr. Hehimetu Ra Enkamit. Dr. Hehimetu Ra Enkamitthe was Johnson C. Smith University library’s featured author for Black History Month. I was intrigued by this piece of African American history.
The kingdom of Asante is located in the central area of southern part of Ghana, which today is known as the Ashanti Region. The Asante are the largest ethnic group of Akan or Twi in Ghana. Ghana is situated in West Africa. Kingship is embedded in the Asante tradition. The Golden Stool is scared to the Asante culture and plays an important role in the enstoolment of the kings and queen mothers. It was said that the Golden Stool symbolized the unity of the chiefs and their people. The Golden Stool is the most sacred object of the Asante that has survived because it is viewed as a gift from God.
Historically, by 850 A.D., Ghana was a great kingdom. Ghana was referred as the land of gold and the land of Blacks. What made Ghana great was their well-developed administrative system that allowed them to govern large territories of land. The management of the land was organized by warriors who maintained the peace of the kingdom. Ghana’s first emperor was King Tenkaminen. This was a time in which Ghana flourished in the gold trade. King Tenkaminen’s leadership was rooted in listening to his people and disputes were settled peacefully.
Chiefdom was established under King Osei Tutu I in the late 17th century. It was under the leadership of Osei Tutu I in which the Golden Stool was introduced to unify all rulers of Asante and its people. Osei Tutu I was known for building the nation of the Asante which included moving the capital from Kwaman to Kumasi, and establishing the constitution for the Asante nation. This constitution was the beginning of establishing the Asantehene. The Asantehene were made up of the paramount chiefs who pledged an oath of faithful service and loyalty to Asantehene.
Divine Kingship is a practice that is still a part of the Ghanaian culture. It is rooted in a matrilineal tradition. The matrilineal tradition goes back to Ancient Kamit. The matrilineal tradition was created “to enact the balance of power in societies where the importance and respect of the woman was crucial to the survival of a sedentary, agricultural lifestyle.” Therefore, women transmitted the kinship rights of inheritance.
In Ghana, the king-elect must receive the blessing from the Queen Mother of the entire kingdom. Dr. Hehimetu Ra Enkamit made reference to this in his book in which he stated that some Asante see the blessing by the Queen Mother as “being powerful for the successful accomplishment of the enstoolment because she is imbued with the spirits of the ancestors.” All paramount chiefs and the king have a queen mother who takes part in ruling the kingdom.
Asante’s history is long. From 1701, the year of the enstoolment of Osei Tutu I, through leadership of the current king, Osei Tutu II, 16 monarchs have ruled Asante over a period of more than 300 years. The Asante Kingdom has survived a great deal of internal and external problems, however, it is remarkable to note that its divine kingship system is still practiced today. I have provided a brief journey into Ancient Ghana and the history of the Asante. I encourage you to explore this part of African American history and the other great empires of Africa.
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Africa, edited by Roland Oliver and Michael Crowder
Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopedia,
edited by Andrea L. Stanton
Divine Kingship of Asante: A Model for Sustainable Development of Self & Community, by Dr. Hehimetu Ra Enkamit.
Encyclopedia of African History, Vol 1, edited by Kevin Shillington
Great Civilizations of Ancient Africa, by Lester Brooks
History of Africa from Earliest Times to 1800, by Harry A. Gailey
Kingship in Ancient Kamit: A Political, Social, & Cultural Study, by the Kheri Heb & Hen Neter Priesthood of Ausar Auset Society
January 8, 2016 Post
Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday and celebration by people of African Descent and parts of Africa as a first fruit; first harvest celebration. This cultural celebration is based on seven principles, Nguzo Saba in which African Americans pull together to honor their heritage, legacy, and their ancestors.
In the Seven Spools of Thread each Kwanzaa principles are woven into the story. The story starts off with seven Ashanti brothers from Ghana who argue from sun up to sun down. The brothers were being raised by their father, after the death of their mother. The brothers argue about food, how to tend to the crops, or when to stop working and go home. One sad day their father died. The Chief of the village summoned the seven Ashanti brothers to review their inheritance left by their father. The inheritance will be shared equally among the seven brothers, if they stop arguing and turn seven spools of thread into gold, if not, all their inheritance will be given to the poor. This is the perfect time of the year for African American families to reflect on these principles and all our heroes and heroin who had laid the foundation for us to have “better life” in America. As you read the Seven Spools of Thread think about these questions as a family. Is it possible to turn thread into gold? Can the Ashanti brothers stop arguing to fulfill their father’s last wish? What blessing will the poor receive?
It was fun reading this story. The magic of this story comes alive through each page of artwork and vibrant colors. As you read this story, think about the people in your life that you have cast away or stop talking to because of an argument. Think about the good fortune we African Americans can have in our lives if we just learn how to get along and work together. When we learn how to work together in peace and sincere love for on another, then the magic will come alive for us once again like the phenomenal innovation and creation of Ancient Egypt (Kamit). We too, will receive the answer of how to turn thread into gold.
Bookbytes for the Soul is more than just a book review blog. The stories I share is to help families think about life, their attitude about life and the people who cross their pathway. The blog uses stories to help families, including myself as the author think about our own flaws. To reflect upon them and make changes. Change is what is needed among us human beings in order to make the world a better, loving, caring, and blessing for all to live and grow. This is what we should teach the future generation.
To the future, our children.
Bookbytes for the Soul is published by Nooma Monika Rhue all rights reserved.
March 26, 2015
It took a moment to get my creative juices flowing again. As a trained Traditional African Griot, my words must be used to heal, enlighten, or educate. Therefore, I share this inspirational piece on what spring means to me. Spring is the time when all things in life that were asleep becomes awaken. It is the time when all the creatures of the earth come out of hibernation, reminding us that they are a part of God’s creation. These creepy, crawling creatures take their place in this world without wonder or confusion, they know their purpose and place. Nature reminds us of the simplicity and beauty of life. In nature we get to see the external beauty; the flowers, rose bushes, the butterflies, green grass, and humming birds. But as human beings, we must not only see the external beauty of life but practice daily to see the internal beauty that brings about love and compassion for one another.
The book I will share with you is “No Mirrors In My Nana’s House” by Ysaye M. Barnwell. This soulfully and up beat book shares a simple message about beauty. The mirror is symbolic of how we view one another and judge each other. Imagine if there were no mirrors in your house or in the world, how would you judge and know beauty? This is a great read to share with children to practice and live each day celebrating their internal beauty. What a gift to the world if we all practice seeing the beauty in all things; Just because it is a part of God’s creation.
Enjoy the sweet lyrics to this story. Share Your Comments
Bookbytes for the Soul is published by Nooma Monika Rhue all rights reserved.
October 19,2014 Post
Teaching Our Children
the REAL Power in Voting
Take your child or children to the polls before or on November 4th.
Let this be their foundation for understanding how their voice could be heard
by who they elect in office not just by marching to voice their concerns.
Growing up I never understood the value of voting and politics. It was never discussed in a single family home. However, as an adult, I fully understand the role politics have in a democratic society. This realization became full blown when the African American population came together, young and old; even those who never voted before assisted in electing the first African American President to the White House. As I read articles, watched the news, and witnessed the lack of corporation among the political parties, is when I concluded that the role of the House of Representatives and the Senate are more important. Although the President’s role is important; to get things moving and approved for the betterment of the citizens, having the right people in Congress is critical. It is important that we do not let the current election for the House of Representatives and the Senate slip us by. We must use that same type of tenaciousness and unity in the Presidential election to elect the right officials to serve in Congress. We must begin to listen carefully to these candidates and hold them accountable. We must come together in unity, clearly stating, that we will only elect those officials who care about the wellbeing of all its citizens and that all children are precious and that their life is priceless.
The true meaning of Democracy is in the hands of the people when they come together, electing those officials who will listen and find real solutions in solving the problems of this country with an open-mind and loving heart. This blog post is dedicated to teaching children the REAL power of the vote, which involves electing the right officials into Congress, along with electing the right President to serve this country.
There are several resources to introduce youth to the legislative branch of the United States Government. I have listed a few to start your journey. I welcome your feedback and comments.
Helpful Facts: Why are there 3 branches of government? The Founding Fathers, the people who wrote the US Constitution, did not want any one person or group to have too much power. So, they divided the government into 3 branches. Each one has a different role, responsibility and power.
- The Executive branch includes the President and the Vice President, plus the leaders who head different parts of government and who help the President make decisions (The Cabinet). The President approves laws, and ensures the country follows them.
- The Judicial branch includes the court system, with the Supreme Court having the highest (most) power. The courts decide how laws are used and what they mean.
- The Legislative branch includes Congress, made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. In this branch, leaders create laws.
Online Resources to Explore:
http://kids.clerk.house.gov/: The Kids in the House website is a public service provided by the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Their mission is to provide educational and entertaining information about the legislative branch of the United States Government to students of all ages. Topics covered include the role of the U.S. House of Representatives, the legislative process, and House history.
http://history.house.gov/Education/: Discover ways to bring history to life with featured materials, lesson plans, and resources which highlight the fascinating people and customs of the U.S. House of Representatives.
http://www.civiced.org/: The Center for Civic Education has its roots in the interdisciplinary Committee on Civic Education, which formed in 1965 at the University of California, Los Angeles, to develop more effective curricular programs in elementary and secondary civic education. The Center offers the most effective programs in the world in civic education for democracy.
http://history.house.gov/Education/Lesson-Plans/Lesson-Plans-BAIC/: Materials designed to help teachers and students use the information presented in the Black Americans in Congress publication in their classrooms. It includes lesson plans on the African-American pioneers who served on Capitol Hill from 1870 to 2007 based on the contextual essays from the Black Americans in Congress book, as well as activities on photographs, objects, and quotations.
https://www.congress.gov/: The official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public. It is presented by the Library of Congress (LOC) using data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Government Printing Office, Congressional Budget Office, and the LOC’s Congressional Research Service.
http://docsteach.org/: Resources for Teachers that bring history to life for students using primary resources and ready to use tools for teaching in the classroom. You can also create your own interactive activities. Docs Teach is a part of the National Archives. Visit the website at http://www.archives.gov/education/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/united-states-constitution/id559398926: An iTunes course for learning United States Constitution accompanying with a Multi-Touch book for iPad – Exploring the United States Constitution – as well as blog posts, online articles, videos, documents, and activities in the DocsTeach App for iPad.
September 10, 2014 Post
Help your young boy cultivate the love of learning. For years many people always wondered why young boys fidget, talk out turn, play or seem like they are not paying attention while in the classroom. New evidence from the advances in MRI and other technologies have allowed research to study and compare the brain function of young boys and girls. What they found is boys are hardwired, they need to move and they learn better through interactive-hands on activities, not lectures. So you can stop trying to make your boy child sit down for long periods of time. A quiet, sit down learning can be off-putting for many boys. By focuses on boys and their biological difference on how boys learn can improved their learning experience in school. When you put policies in place like, zero tolerance or hands-off rules that ban any and all physical contact, then you just cultivated an environment in which boy’s perception of school is not for them. Boys are physical and value real life experiences according to research done by two schools Douglass Elementary in Boulder, Colorado and Kendrick Middle School in Jonesboro, Georgia. The research demonstrated that boys improved in their school work when physical activity was encouraged and real life experiences were incorporated into the classroom.
It is important to use other strategies to discipline boys instead of taking away their recess which becomes a disastrous experience for a young boy already struggling to sit still. Perhaps having the young boy stay a few minutes after class or help with an assignment is a better disciplinary choice. Having positive male role models early in a boy’s life is valuable. Having their dad, uncle or a male present read to them or talk about how they use reading and writing in real life experiences make assignments relevant to young boys. “Most young boys aren’t interested in learning something unless they believe it’s relevant to their lives.” Most boys read not for pleasure but to help them achieve a goal.
So parents and teachers, the goal is to mix-up your learning and discipline styles. Gone are the days of straight lecturing to educate the future generation of children.
Other helpful tips were given in both articles listed below including some school facts about boys. Take this number test. If you did not get the number facts right, then it is time to research and craft a well-rounded education for boys in your life.
Mitchell, Deb. The Learning Styles of Boys: Why They Struggle and How to Help Them Succeed. Education Guide, A Charlotte Parent Publication, 2013-2014, pg. 2
Funk, Jennifer W. Why Boys Fail, (and What You Can Do About It). Scholastic Instructor, Holiday 2013, Vol. 123, No.3, pg. 23
July 14, 2014 Post
Dreams activate creativity, innovation, and inventions
As African Americans we express ourselves in many forms. Throughout history we used storytelling, poetry, dance, art, and singing to share our cultural experiences. Even in our most troubled times, we always managed to sing to hold onto our joy. We must teach our children the simplicity and beauty of art that comes alive by using one’s mind, heart, and hands. In this technology driven society we must teach our children to dream. Because dreams activate creativity, innovation, and inventions.
Bring me all of your dreams
You dreamers. Bring me all of your
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too rough fingers
Of the world.
Name the title of this poem.
Name the African American author who wrote these words
Katie Yamasaki is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY.
She works primarily as a muralist, children’s book author / illustrator and teaching artist.
Taken from her website at http://katieyamasaki.com/about/
I want to hear from you. Are you liking the post? Send me your reply.
July 7, 2014 Post-Competition ended July 14, 2014
I was born in Kenya as a child. As a child, I listened to stories of my ancestors of how the trees saved my people and our land. I listened to the trees and their spirit spoke back to me. I taught women all over Africa the power of how to plant trees, how to take back their lives, how to feed their families and how to restore the natural beauty of Africa with their own strong hands. So my children, I say to you; use your mind, use your strong beautiful hands and the spirit in your heart to build something for yourself and for your community that would be everlasting.
Be the first to guess the name of this picture book and receive a FREE copy.
Learn, Live and Share!
June 30, 2014 Post
Mut Griot Book Tips
We forget that working hard can be a good thing. Think about a time in your life when you worked hard for something you really wanted. You were focus, discipline and determine to complete that task. These are good traits to inquire and hold onto throughout life.
My Rows and Piles of Coins is an inspirational picture book that teaches the simple act of love and sharing. The story is about a little boy name Saruni who helps his mother Yeyo at the market. In return, she rewards Saruni with “five whole ten-cent coins”. We may laugh and say ten-cent coins is not a lot. Perhaps not.
Sometimes the value is not in the monetary thing but in the lesson it brings.
Although Saruni can spend his money on anything at the market, he is saving his money in his secret money box to buy a bicycle. He wants to buy a bicycle to help carry his mother’s goods to the market in a wooden wagon. Every day after school Saruni father Murete teaches him how to ride his big, heavy bike. While learning to ride, Saruni would fall, get back up, and try over and over again. Saruni did not give up until he learned how to ride the bike.
The story ends nicely. If you read closely, you will find hidden treasures to share with children of all ages. Read to find out did Saruni save enough money to get his own bike? Or did he give up and buy something else at the market? Share your comments on Mut Griot’s blog. Remember these stories are for the entire family. It is important that we take time out to read to and with our children, especially in this fast-pace age of technology.
Written by Tolowa M. Mollel
Mut Griot Book Tips
Speak the truth and shame the devil. How many times have we told our children to always tell the truth? This is a cute story about Libby Louise Sullivan who got caught in a lie by her mother. Because of her lie, Libby could not play with her best friend Ruthie Mae on Saturday. Starting on Sunday morning Libby promise to never lie again no matter what. As the children were waiting for Sunday school to start they were admiring Ruthie Mae new dress and matching hat when Libby came skipping up. “I like your outfit. It’s real pretty ….but you’ve got a hole in your sock.” This was the beginning of Libby’s truth telling. She told how Charlesetta got a spanking, how Thomas had to borrow money for lunch and many more truths throughout the week. What happen to Libby for telling the Honest-to-Goodness Truth no matter what? Share your comments about this book and your thoughts on always telling the truth no matter what.
Written by Patricia C. McKissack
2 thoughts on “Bookbytes For The Soul”
Please share your comments. You can also send in your favorite African American children’s book for a review.
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