Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, presidential candidate Barack Obama’s church home, is launching a new elementary school named after an African revolutionary and promises not to give children the alphabet, reading and writing, but “African-centered teaching.”
The new Kwame Nkrumah Academy, which offers only a static web page with nominal information about its plans, was promoted in the Palm Sunday bulletin at Trinity. It proposes to start offering classes to kindergartners and first-graders this fall.
According to a proposed agreement with the Chicago public schools published last fall, the new academy will be operated by Trinity Community Development Corp., which shares the same street address at the church.
A receptionist who answered the academy’s telephone number declined to answer questions from WND, and officials at the church told WND to submit questions in writing and they would be answered in two days.
The school board agreement noted the plans are for the facility to open as a “Contract School” in this fall, and it was being designated as an “alternative school” as allowed under the law.
The academy is expected to launch with “approximately 66 students” in grades K through 1 for the 2008-2009 school year. In subsequent years the school may serve up to 400 students in grades K through 8, the report said.
“Using current year financial data, the general fund cost of 66 students in 2008-2009 (FY09) will be approximately $424,644.00,” the state report said. “The financial implications will be addressed during the development of the FY09 budget.”
The website promises, “A new school… A new concept… A new commitment…”
“The Kwame Nkrumah Academy is a global teaching and learning center grounded by principles of African-centered educational excellence. Our mission is to prepare future world leaders by equipping them with: A Strong Sense of Personal Identity, Sound Understanding of Global Ethics, A Superb Integration of Academic and Leadership Skills.”
The website features a number of emblems, including “SANKOVA Go Back and Take It Symbol of Cherishing and Valuing our Culture,” “NTESIE/MATE MASIE ‘I Have Heard It and I have Kept It’ Symbol of Wisdom and Knowledge,” “DAME-DAME ‘Use Your Mind’ Symbol of Intelligence and Ingenuity,” “ADINKRAHENE ‘Chief of the Adinkra Symbols’ Symbol of Solidarity, Security and Safety,” and “FIHANKRA ‘Communal House’ Symbol of Solidarity, Security and Safety.”
The state report’s specifications for curriculum are: “The Kwame Nkrumah Academy aims to be a global model of African-centered teaching and learning…”
“UBUNTU,” the website says. “I am because we are. My humanity is expressed through your humanity.”
It was named after Nkrumah, who spent several years in the U.S., then returned to his native Gold Coast in 1947, from which he led a rebellion against the British colonial powers through his own political party, the Convention People’s Party.
His demand for “positive action” in 1950 led to a series of strikes, boycotts and other acts of civil disobedience for which he eventually was sentenced to prison. However, from his jail cell, he directed a campaign that resulted in his party capturing 34 out of 38 elected seats in the Legislative Assembly. He then was released to form a government.
The nation’s independence from Britain soon followed, and Ghana was born.
After assuming power, he formed a one-party state, designating himself as president for life, and jailed those who led strikes against his rule. He was overthrown militarily in 1966.
The Socialist Worker website praises him for announcing, “There is only one road to effective action – the organization of the masses.”
“Nkrumah is regarded as the first man to make Pan Africanism a living political reality,” the site said.
WND previously reported the black Chicago church Obama attends removed from the “About Us” page of its website a section outlining a radical belief system for blacks.
Trinity has described itself as “unashamedly black” and has drawn fire over inflammatory sermons by its senior pastor.
Obama responded he was shocked to hear the profane anti-American and anti-white rhetoric delivered by Rev. Jeremiah Wright and strongly objected to it.
Until recently, however, Trinity’s website outlined a controversial code of ethics written by blacks for blacks called the “Black Value System.”
It asks members to commit their time, money and talents to the black community, black businesses, black institutions and black political leaders. The program also demands black members disavow “the pursuit of middleclassness.”