Blackistory, a Milwaukee-born, game-based app, aims to teach Black history

Blackistory, a Milwaukee-born, game-based app, aims to teach Black history

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Imagine yourself as a parent teaching your child about their history. How would you do it in an enriching, creative and educational way? Well, Deborah Clements Blanks cracked the code. When Blanks decided to teach her son about Black history, she remembered her mother, who also was a teacher, and suddenly she had a lightbulb idea. Blanks decided to follow after her mother and fill a notebook with 500 questions and answers for her son to memorize and to be quizzed on.

“He would actually take it to school and study it during study hall and come home and say, ‘Ask me questions!’” said Blanks. “That was great the first 30 days but after a while, I got tired asking all those questions, but I retained that love of history and trying to figure out how people can connect. I saw the power of him learning about his culture.”

Deborah C. Blanks | Photo courtesy: Kairo Communications

Little did she know that this seemingly simple, effective implementation would snowball and become the inspiration for the app Blackistory, an innovative, game-based learning tool. In a quiz format, this app provides information regarding the achievements, culture and experiences of African Americans. Blanks recalls the time she used this method to teach her students.

Little did she know that this seemingly simple, effective implementation would snowball and become the inspiration for the app Blackistory, an innovative, game-based learning tool. In a quiz format, this app provides information regarding the achievements, culture and experiences of African Americans. Blanks recalls the time she used this method to teach her students.

Blanks said that when working on developing Blackistory, she came across a needed reminder.

“What I recognized is that I am so grateful, thankful and proud to be African American because of all the richness of our culture, our history and how everyday people stand up to take care of their children and contribute to their community,” she said. “We have history makers among us that aren’t often acknowledged.”

Before interviewing Blanks, I downloaded the app Blackistory and I haven’t been able to put it down. I learned a great deal about Black musicians, movements and even community engagement. It’s safe to say that within the first few minutes of playing, I was humbled. However, the end goal is that even if you spend five minutes every morning on the app, you’ll learn something new about Black history. You can download Blackistory with any app store.

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