A Harlem Teacher and His ‘Outside Classroom’

Nova and daughter Amara Felder (Photo provided to Amsterdam News)

Everyday, across from the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Nova M. Felder hangs graphic photos of Black people being lynched, sprayed with fire hoses and beaten beyond recognition. He tells Olayemi Odesanya of Amsterdam News that the images serve as a reminder of recent history.

“That is unfortunately a part of the African-American history, but that isn’t our only history,” Felder assured. “We come from royalty. We built pyramids and kingdoms. We are the original people. We should hold much more power than we actually do. But the majority of us don’t know our history.”

A teacher and an activist, Felder added, “‘Knowledge of self is the key to everything. Without it, we will remain where we are.”

In addition to learning about his roots from his parents and going through the NYC public education system, including for college, Felder was “also raised in National Action Network, United African Movement, and other Black organizations in the city.”

“I am also a student of African Studies, African-American Studies and Pan Africanism,” he said. “I am also a member of CEMOTAP—the Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People. As a teacher, organizer and local business person, I have focused illuminating African answers and solutions for many of this community’s problems.”

Learn more about Felder – including about his “outside classroom” and how he continues the tradition of spreading knowledge of African-American history and culture like his late father did – at Amsterdam News.


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