There's a Movement to Get More Schools to Teach Black History and it's Being Led by TeensBreaking News
tags: African American history, teaching history, Protest, secondary schools
Before a fateful trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, Alana Mitchell said she didn't feel like she was Black enough to own African American history as her own.
But she found her place in history within its walls, along with a handful of her classmates from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College, a middle and high school in Denver, Colorado.
During the high school's 2019 visit to the DC museum, students, including Alana were overcome with emotion. They felt heartbreak, anger and confusion. They were surrounded by the rich history of Black artists, politicians and activists at the museum, so why weren't they taught anything about them in class?
"It's sad that we had to travel 1,000 miles away to learn about ourselves," Alana said. "And if we hadn't traveled 1,000 miles away, where would we be right now?"
So Alana and her classmates made a demand to their school board -- require African American studies courses at every Denver public school, and teach Black history in every grade.
So far, they've guaranteed a course at their own school with plans for expansion. It's a victory, if an incomplete one.
In the thick of a nationwide reckoning with racism and a pandemic that's disproportionately killed Black Americans, students and faculty in local communities across the nation are demanding better Black history programs in schools. From lesson plans that lay bare the horrors of the Tulsa race massacre to literature units that center Black authors and Black experiences, young activists and their faculty supporters see an urgent need for education reform.
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