Retelling Our History – Sylvester Boyd Jr.

“A person has to want to change in order to change,” Sylvester Boyd Jr.

Our history largely defines who we are as a people and explains why we do things the way we do them. Unfortunately, many people do not know their history leave alone that of other people that they live with. This lack of knowledge about history explains many ills that are being experienced today and could be avoided if people are taught accurate history. This is according to our guest today, Sylvester Boyd Jr, who has been a teacher and has lived to experience what it means to be historically informed.

Mr. Boyd has a passion for history and geography. He has been interviewed by radio and TV programs across the U.S., Great Britain, and other countries covering issues of race relations, perseverance, disparities in education, and current events. His laser focus on the truth, helps him make historical connections within these topics. He uses family stories across generations and his personal life experiences to write The Road from Money series; hoping to teach and uplift readers; while pointing out injustice and racism. Mr. Boyd’s expertise in business, education, motivational speaking, the entertainment industry, and world travel gives him a unique perspective and insight into current racial and poverty-driven tensions around the world.

Currently he can be seen on several major TV series and movies with Academy Award-winning actors such as Taraji P. Henson and Forest Whittaker. As a background actor, he has also appeared with other well-known actors in The Dilemma, Transformers 3, Empire, The Boss, Chicago PD/MED/Fire, Shameless, Lovecraft Country, Fargo, and other TV episodes.

In today’s episode, we will have a conversation about history and why people need to be aware not only of their own history but also of other people’s history. We will also discuss more on the reasons behind ‘The Road from Money’ book series.

Listen in!

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  • I have a degree in both history and geography. [4:04]
  • One of the problems we have right now is that we are not taught accurate history. [4:32]
  • History, as I read it from the books, doesn’t match with what I learned in high school. [4:38]
  • Once I got into college and got deep into history, I learned a lot of things that I thought were true or not true and a lot that were omitted. [4:48]
  • For example, we talk about a time when Colombus discovered America and generations upon generations believing it as their history. [5:03]
  • Europeans, Caucasians, or white people our history tend to make them better and diminish everybody else and that is purposeful. [6:32]
  • We have to start to look at the real facts because if you do not, falsehood will always lead you down the wrong path. [6:16]
  • I think all secondary schools should have a history as a requirement. [6:35]
  • History and where people come from and where they are, their customs and traditions should be discussed. [6:52]
  • Once you start going into history you may be shocked what it is versus what you think it is. [7:00]
  • People don’t know about history, and if they are not taught right, then they cannot act right. [8:32]
  • Our education system has played a part in that because I have been a teacher and I know we are not giving our kids the right education. [8:44]
  • To diminish black, brown, or native American history, you also have to diminish white history because history will always be true. [8:56]
  • An educated person not only knows their history, but they also know the history and culture of others. [9:58]
  • Our kids were not taught the right history and therefore they don’t know. [10:32]
  • Another thing is that you do not know what you lose and therefore hold your country back. [10:50]
  • Minorities are a big part of the country, coming up to be the majority of the country. [11:10]
  • Democracy without a vote is not a democracy because once you lose the vote and do not let people vote, you have lost your democracy. [11:22]
  • We have to look at ourselves as a people and question where we want to end up [12:10]
  • Commercial Break. [13:29]
  • Money Mississippi was the town that Emmet Till was killed and thrown in Tallahatchie River and that was the beginning of the American civil rights movements and it happened in the year 1955.[15:10]
  • My folks came from the town that started the civil rights movement in America. is a really important connection with history I have that most other people don’t have. [15:41]
  • Another thing I have been fortunate to do is to live in all different societies. [15:54]
  • My mother was incisive enough to know that she did not want her children raised in some of the environments that the kids did and so she moved her kids to an environment that she felt was conducive for their learning. [16:40]
  • These are things that people had to do to make adjustments to the society they lived in so that they could develop. [17:10]
  • I always say the minorities have to look twice than the majority. [17:50]
  • Culturally I have been able to live with everybody. [21:00]
  • You cannot make a person change their heart or what they think, but you can educate them. [21:52]
  • Race is a social construct of man and it has nothing to do with how smart you are. [22:55]
  • A person has to want to change in order to change. [25:50]
  • We have not taken of the environment the way we are supposed to and we are a society that uses and loses and that will come back to haunt us. [26:17]
  • My aunt deserved the honor of the book and it was important for me to put her story out there. [28:25]
  • It is also a story of all people who struggled to be part of what they should have been a part of from the very beginning. [28:40]
  • We are a country of many people and races, but we as a people have never accepted that we are all created equal. [28:55]
  • If you take from me you take from yourselves at the same time. [29:16]
  • Don’t be afraid of change and take advantage of the opportunities that come towards you because they last for only a brief moment and it is fickle it moves on to the next person if you are not ready. [32:24]


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