Not Learning the Contributions of Black Icons in School, Can Have Harmful Effects on Our Children


By Bobby Mardis

Nestled in the quaint offices of Point Richmond is great grandmother and author Tamara Shiloh, whose sole objective is to increase the historical knowledge of our children with her five-book series, “Just Imagine…What If There Were No Black People in the World?” When considering that unimaginable question posed in her title, it would negate some of the most significant contributions to American society that Black inventors have given to the world.

Tamara Shiloh

Tamara started this mission because she regretted never being taught about the contributions that African-Americans have made to society, which made life easier for all mankind. She felt that she was robbed of these facts that stripped her of an important element of her cultural foundation and self-esteem.

She feels that there are psychological ramifications of not identifying with Black historical figures who are pillars of our society and who have contributed to our greatness.

In retrospect, its decades later and the same problem persist. Tamara states, “There are an extremely limited number of African-American contributors to mainstream culture even mentioned in our elementary and grade school history classes. This problem has clearly left an impact on the younger generation,” in terms of self-worth and value.

Mrs. Shiloh’s partial solution is to author a series of books that address this issue. The first book in the series, “Jaxon’s Magical Adventure with Black Inventors and Scientists,” spot-lights the Black inventors of the stop light, hair care products, the blood plasma process, that have all made life better for all people. It is important for her to embed in the minds of black children the names of Elijah McCoy (Train engine lubricator), Lewis Latimer (Light bulb filament), Granville T. Woods (Telegraph system) and Alexander Miles (Elevator doors). The fact that these great inventors were Black, gives Tamara a sense of pride to pass on to the younger generation, that same sense of value that drives their inner souls towards productivity and continued innovation.

“Knowing your history will not only build towards your future, but will make you strive for the greatness that our people have already exhibited throughout time,” Tamara says. She feels that the only missing link is the information that bridges the gap between inspiration and productivity. Her book series, “Just imagine…What If There Were No Black People in the World?”

is only a small start to fill that information gap in the road to inspire a new generation of children. Tamara Shiloh’s timing perfectly aligns with the current 21st century educational system’s focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) across the nation’s schools.

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