Who are you?

Super Nerd Alert! My name is Bonnie Dinka. I am a gluttonous academic, who believes that practical knowledge of American History leads people directly to the aha moments that motivate them to do better. What is time? Besides the: then, way back when, here, five minutes ago, blink and you missed it, what’s next, future? When we explore America’s paradoxical past, we’re looking right at ourselves and our community. And, it’s totally empowering and addicting.

I think the passing on of what we learn is the most lasting act there is.

I was born and raised in Virginia, in a suburb of Washington, D.C., where opportunities to literally stand in the blood, sweat, shame, and triumphs of this country are impossible to ignore.

I’m a loud talking, disciplined, people person. I facilitate classrooms without a hierarchy; we all have a lot to teach and even more to learn. I believe in the right to know. In questions. Then, more questions. In action. In manners. In personal accountability. In using your time on this planet to do what’s good.

How did Living History Revolution come to be?

Frankly, as a coping mechanism to not become bitter. George Floyd was murdered. I am a Black woman, living in a formerly redlined neighborhood in Southern California, who was working at a predominately White school. Both then and now, I commonly feel the burden of tokenism, and I was sick of the kind people around me being shocked by the latest brutality to yet another Black person in America.

It’s been happening. All. This. Time. It had and has to be taught. And, the stamina of Black Americans made clear and palpable.

I wasn’t going to take it to the streets and risk getting or giving Covid to people (Thank you immensely to those who put their sneakers on the ground), but knew that a peaceful war against injustice could fire away from a Zoom Classroom. Educational activism.

I launched a written call to action to my loyal friends to help enlist volunteers to play the roles of Black people and their allies. A treasured blast from my past, in Washington, D.C, took the scroll and ran with it. Teamwork does, indeed, make the dream work. Can I get a high five?

A ring of reciprocity was welded together by several parents, my bosses, and mom friends of mine, who sent biographies of the person as both a thank you and learning tool, to the amateur thespians. Together- we made our giant confusing world supportive and simple.

Books, articles, documentaries, composition notebooks, and pens were my heavy artillery. I researched and wrote, wrote and researched, scripts for our visitors and notes to share; I’m ready for any duel that challenges the credibility of my methods. *My favorite sources are on this site. *

Each 55 minute class began with me setting the historical context, then…..we would transcend time and come face to face (screen to screen) with our guest. Chronologically. Everything in timeline order. Their visits led to clarity about America’s economy, government, laws, freedoms, protections, habit of systemic racism, the what's what of race, class, and gender related isms. And, of course, some juicy tidbits.

It transformed into a one room schoolhouse. Participants ranged in age from six to eighty-one. Not only eclipsing the concept of time, but literal time zones; Heroes representing California, D.C, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Canada all cared enough to take part. Each participant was a model of the explosive impact of lifelong learning.

America’s past belongs to all of us.

It’s a revolution!

Why The Living History Format?

  1. Information is given in the narrative People are relatable.

  2. It elicits empathy "the most radical tool we have" (Gloria Steinem)

  3. The settings match what you see and hear in the news today and, perhaps, a place that you have visited immediate relevance and familiarity.

  4. It's engaging and fun Information is easier to remember natural to pass on

  5. It can be done virtually and in person physically accessible, schedule-friendly.

Thank You.

Thank you....Ma, Lake Anne Plaza, Librarians, Journalists, Pro Bono Attorneys, microfiche, The man who came to my Second Grade Class as Vincent Van Gogh, The John Brown Wax Museum, patient docents, My Government Teacher at South Lakes High School, Ford's Theatre, Debbie Allen, Tina Turner, Ken Burns, GoGoMusic, The Civil Rights' Museum in Memphis, All the living history volunteers representing slaves on plantations in The South, KaiDogs, Jamaica Songs, Grandma, my handsome husband, E. Woods, Posey Sunshine, Spanky, Moms' Clubbers, Gretchen, The Hendlers, The Roberts, The Cheetah-Wolves, My Canadian Crew, Realm Creative Academy, Chie, Talia, Shirronda, Hayden Floch, Libby Floch, Zane Stern, Trista Stern, Normandy, Kisma, my yoga teachers, heated swimming pools, deejays, dance floors, apple pie, hamburgers, pizza, olive oil.