September 22, 2023

Reclaiming Our Cultural Heritage

I must admit when I heard our students were going to be involved in an Archery competition utilizing bow and arrows, I initially thought, FOR WHAT?

It’s unfortunate that we, even as adults, are all so far removed from how our cultural heritage began. We have forgotten about the amount of work it takes to get food to our tables due to the ease of mass manufacturing of almost everything we consume-from food to clothing.

Why is Archery deemed important? Well, it clearly goes back to the beginning of time, and the essence of survival. Prior to the creation of mass-produced food, prior to animals being grown expediently by the injection of antibiotics, prior to the creation of grocery store chains, and prior to the creation of guns; all of our ancestors used bow and arrows as a tool to provide our family units with food.

Again, how is this relevant? In our current political environment, in regards to Trump advocating the longest Federal Government shut down in history, there could be a potential crisis. Many individuals were not aware that the FDA was not able to inspect meat and produce properly due to the governmental shut down?

“The ongoing federal government shutdown has stopped most food safety inspections, but the Food and Drug Administration is planning to resume at least some of them. To do it, the agency will have to force furloughed workers to come back without pay. It’s not business as usual, and we are not doing all the things we would do under normal circumstances. There are important things we are not doing. The FDA has virtually stopped inspecting domestic food production facilities, which could mean threats to the public are going undetected (Fox, 2019).”

Are we prepared if the entire system failed? Would we know how to cultivate a garden, a farm, hunt, or breed our own animals? Unfortunately, hunting and archery can easily be related to a sport that is not known to be inclusive of students of color, but utilizing the bow and arrow is inherently apart of our heritage. Therefore, The African-American Hunting Association is adamant about our minority students being acclimated to the sport, not just for fun, but for survival. It is a skill that can be used for much more than an exciting activity. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

We are grateful to have such an innovative instructor that brings a high level of cultural opportunities to our students of color. Coach D. Thomas, has led an extensive number of these activities, and as we continue to strive for excellence, she has made it a priority to build well-rounded students at Booker T. Washington High School.

Fox, Maggie. “Government Shutdown Stops FDA Food Safety Inspections.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 9 Jan. 2019,

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