Atlanta Girl Brings Black History to Life
In history, there are many stories you don’t get a chance to hear, especially those focused on Black history. Ten-year-old Dakota Adeyemi is changing that with her online platform, Dakota School, helping kids and families to dive deeper into African American history.
Dakota started developing this program during the pandemic. “I really love going to school, but since COVID-19, I have been doing online school. I have had so much free time. I even have Wednesdays off. So I started with researching Black history, and it was so interesting,” she says. “I asked my mom if I could start my own school to teach what I have learned about Black history. She said yes, so I started my own company, and now I have my own school.”
Dakota started learning more about Black history by Googling different inventions and inventors. Two of her favorite inventors are Garrett Morgan and George Crum. “Garrett Morgan was the first African American to own a car in Cleveland, Ohio. He invented the three-way traffic light. I believe this invention has saved lots of lives. George Crum was a chef, and one day, one of his customers complained that their fried potatoes were too thick, so he went into the kitchen and made them extra thin, and boom, accidentally created the potato chip, which is the world’s favorite snack and mine too,” she says.
The school is a commitment for Dakota, but she loves the work. On Wednesdays, she has the day off of school, so she spends that time raising money, along with shooting and editing videos. Each day after school, she spends an hour studying Black history and writing down fun facts. “I get to teach people things they never knew. It makes me feel good inside,” she says. “I also get to go to cool museums to film my videos, like the Harriet Tubman Museum in Macon, Georgia.” In Atlanta, one of her favorites is The Madam CJ Walker Museum. The museum celebrates two African American business pioneers: Walker’s hair and cosmetics company and WERD, the first Black-owned and operated radio station in America. “It’s filled with so much history about the first Black woman to be a millionaire. Hopefully that will be me one day!” she says.
People may mistakenly believe that history is not for them, or that the subject is boring. At the end of each of her video lessons, Dakota has a segment called Dakota School Games, a game show to help you review what you learned, and the workbooks include crossword puzzles and word searches. “I like to make history fun by making up songs, so I can remember, and I dance to them,” she says. “People should know history can help your future. Sometimes I read about people in history who are like me, and I see some of the mistakes they have made, so I don’t do the same thing.”
Dakota attends Austell Elementary School, where her favorite subjects are history, science and lunch. In her free time, she loves playing outside, and she is teaching herself to play the piano by watching YouTube videos.
Since February is Black History Month, this is a great time for families to learn more about the history and contributions of African Americans. “They need to know about the amazing, positive Black history that is not always shown every day,” Dakota says. On her YouTube channel, during Black History Month, she is offering free videos about Black history to help viewers learn more.
Find out more about Dakota School at dakotaschool.com.
– Emily Webb