We had the good fortune of connecting with Tracy Moss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tracy, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I was raised around a very large and extended family. We were raised around many cousins, numerous aunts and uncles and others whom we thought were family, but were just extensions of our family love. My family did everything together- school, recreational activities and church. So when it came to summer activities, we were all together, either on my grandmother’s farm or at someone’s house.
One particular summer, an aunt decided she would organize a two week activity for us to make sure we knew our black history. She taught us songs, poems, history and plays. I always remembered that summer and the fun we had. I never forgot the songs and poems, even after all of these years. The impact the summer had on me laid the foundation for what we have created with Go Beyond Your Knowledge (GoBYK, pronounced “Go-Bike”). Our Black History Camps and programs help build the self-esteem of children and teens. We teach them about various African Americans and how they have contributed to building this country. We have unschooled history!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Go Beyond Your Knowledge began by simply offering what most wish they had- more Black history. We always hear people say that they wish the schools offered more than just a section in a history book; that they wish Black history wasn’t just acknowledged during one month of the year; or that they wish their children’s education system acknowledged the works of all people in their curriculum. Focusing a camp centered around the achievements of African Americans was a new concept, but 20 years later, we remain a one-of-a-kind program. Because we worked to manage our growth, our camps filled up rather quickly. The demand was always there, and most all of our campers returned each summer. With the introduction of our virtual programs, we have expanded our GoBYK family beyond our physical presence in Atlanta, GA. We look forward to maintaining an online presence but do desire to be physical once again. Prior to Covid, we were in the process of looking for a larger space. We have rented space from a small church for the past 19 years, but we are currently looking for a new home. That search has been put on hold, because most facilities are trying to figure our the needs of their own programs post-covid. So, for the rest of the calendar year, we will remain online. This is disappointing, but we are so happy that the virtual programs have been so well received
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them?
This question would have been very easy to answer pre-covid, but now, I just desire to spend time with family and friends- just being together and enjoying a cookout or a game night. So, if we did go anywhere, I would say I would take my bestie to the Botanical Gardens or Piedmont Park. The most simple things in life have now become the most desired.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My sister. Courtney Moss Hooker, deserves a shout out because she has helped to develop this organization from day one. 20 years ago, before Go Beyond Your Knowledge was a formal organization, it was just a gathering of children we knew that met once a year for a week in my basement. At that time, Courtney was a college student who was home for the summer. She became our assistant that summer and is still working with us today. Without her help, this organization may not exist. Courtney Moss Hooker is currently the Assistant Director of Go Beyond Your Knowledge.
A second shout out goes to my husband, H. Skip Watson, who is our walking encyclopedia. He makes sure our programs are historically accurate and on point. Skip serves as the Director of Curriculum Development for Go Beyond Your Knowledge. He also serves as chief support to the Director.
Linkedin: Tracy Moss
Facebook: Go Beyond Your Knowledge (GoBYK)
Youtube: Go Beyond Your Knowledge
Other: Follow Tracy Moss @gobykcamps on Clubhouse
Headshot- Rayna Wooden Photography