Visual Learning and the Culture of Life

Evangelist Alveda C. King
Pastoral Associate, Priests for Life
November 05, 2008

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Our learning experiences in life shape our understanding and our methods of communicating with and relating to others in our world. As a post-abortive mother, who has spent over 20 years as an educator, with many  of those years as a teacher, I find it natural to consider learning styles when seeking more effective ways to share the pro-life message. Learning styles are an integral part of working to share the “culture of life” in every community. Because I am an African-American woman, I am especially interested in reaching the people of my communities.

It has been said that African-Americans have a particular learning style that causes them to be global learners in that they want to see the big picture and not necessarily all the small details.  They also tend to be better writers than speakers because they excel in non-verbal communication.  In addition, they tend to use approximations frequently and focus better on a person rather than an inanimate object (Wilson, 2004).  One of the characteristics of our African-American culture is an emphasis on visual learning. We are particularly impacted by visual imagery.

For many years, I have been an outspoken advocate for the unborn child, because in a culture of abortion, the child is like a slave. The new civil rights movement of our time is the pro-life movement, and as I seek to preserve the dream of my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and of my father, Rev. A.D. King (Martin’s brother), I ask the question, “How can the dream survive if we murder the children?” I grew up seeing these two great men fight for the equal rights of their people.

But equality is not something you can see. What you can see are people. My uncle knew that the ugly reality of segregation had to be seen visually by the American public. He therefore organized events at which the eyes of the media could broadcast the way our people were treated when water hoses and dogs were unleashed on their peaceful marches. People responded to those images, not simply to abstract concepts of “segregation” and “equality.”

Likewise, people – and especially African Americans – respond to the disturbing images of aborted children. Sure, some people get angry when we show them. But everyone who fights injustice has to be ready to pay a price. My uncle did, and so did my Dad. So does everyone who has the courage to show the ugly reality of abortion. Don’t be afraid to do so. Many people are grateful. As a woman who has had two abortions, I am grateful that the truth is being shown, so that others can avoid this pain in the first place.

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