SAN ANTONIO – Two local men are on a mission to make sure the black history is never forgotten in San Antonio. Aundar Maat and D.L. Grant say that starts with teaching young children the accomplishments of African-Americans in San Antonio.
Maat was featured last week in “Creating Black History in SA.”
He says his passion for his heritage started with a book at a very young age.
“Growing up in my home, I had one book. It was titled “The Black Book,” Maat said. "It had history about black people. I used to flip through that book as a child. I really believe that’s where the seed may have been planted, at least in my curiosity, to learn more about our history.”
Maat said he still has that book today and hopes to pass that integral piece of his childhood onto younger generations. That’s how he began “the Black History Book Giveaway.” Over the past five years, he has gathered community sponsors to help him hand out hundreds of books for free. This year, his event kicked off the African-American Book Festival at the Carver Branch Library.
Grant, a library manager, describes the branch as a cultural hub for African-American study, reading, networking and learning. They host unique events daily ranging from language classes and storytime for kids to Tai Chi and yoga for seniors.
“This is what people expect from a library,” Grant explains.
The festival began with Maat’s Black history for Children class and book giveaway and continued throughout the day with African-American author meet-and-greets and other presentations.
“We wanted to honor the writers and the community that might not otherwise have had a voice or an audience,” said Grant.
Grant and Maat both hope bringing people together in this type of setting can spark ambition in today’s youth and carry on black history in the Alamo City.
“We want the children to know that just like we have these nationally known people, there are local people who have made history as well and likewise, local people like yourself can make history,” Maat said.
Editor’s note: This is the third year of “Creating Black History in SA”, a segment for Black History Month that showcases people who are making a positive and lasting impact in the local black community. The episodes below, from 2018 and 2019, were created specifically for our KSAT TV streaming app on your smart device.
Episode 1: Meet the young men behind ‘Suit Up’, A woman caring for children who lost a parent to gun violence, ‘Sistas in Business’ who promote literacy, And SAAACAM.
Episode 2: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and their ‘Fatherhood Initiative’. Alpha Tau Omega keeps black history alive. Jackie Washington: the face of ‘Rolling Readers’. Buffalo Soldiers teach about the history of African Americans in the military.