Today, it will take until the year 2100 for all children on the African continent to obtain an elementary, middle, and high school education.
In Ghana, more than half a million children are not enrolled in primary school, and one in four children from 4 to 5 years old are not in kindergarten. Only 39% of children that should be attending secondary school are enrolled in school.
I am establishing this gofundme to help children in Ghana have access to education. This money will be used with the ultimate goal of setting up a school there to honor the legacy of my father, Dr. Maurice M Martinez Jr, a renaissance man who fought for social justice his entire life through his writing, 20 plus documentaries (The Black Indians of New Orleans; Apartheid in New Orleans, The Quorum...), photography, poetry, music and teaching. A brilliant man who graduated from college at age 19 and held a master’s degree from the University of Michigan at 20, he returned to the University of Michigan to complete his Ph.D. in International Studies after teaching in New Orleans for several years.
In 1934, my grandmother, Mildred Bernard Martinez established the first kindergarten for children of color in New Orleans, serving the black community for 71 years until the floodwaters of Katrina closed its doors in 2005. The school taught up to 300 children per year. Many of her pupils graduated from kindergarten able to read two grade levels ahead and do single and double-digit addition and subtraction. Numerous prominent leaders in the New Orleans community got their start at the Martinez Kindergarten, including my father and Wynton Marsalis, son of Ellis and Dolores Marsalis.
My name is Maurice Miles Martinez. When I was four, I attended the Martinez Kindergarten School. Social injustice in Africa is my passion. Through my studies in history, psychology and education, I learned of the rich ancient history of the continent and modern travesties in Africa as I completed three Master’s degrees at the City University of New York. It is my goal to help expand access to education for children in Africa. I am the author of several books on Africa, including The Real Wakandas of Africa and The Great Wall of Africa: The Empire of Benin’s 10,000 Mile Long Wall.
The Dr. Maurice M. Martinez Educational fund will support a program that will combine modern technology with some of the unique strategies that my grandmother used to teach children how to read, to do math and to perform well above grade level. I will be involved in the direct setup of the program and the development and implementation of the curriculum. Please donate to this fund so that we may continue the fight towards helping children on the African continent receive the quality education they deserve.