WASHINGTON — A D.C. councilmember is proposing adding African-American history to the curriculum in local high schools.
Kenyan McDuffie is purposing the African-American History and Inclusion Act of 2020.
“You’ve got world history. You got a D.C. history. You've got us government courses like that. This gives them opportunity to take courses, and something that I think will help to explain the cultural and racial relevancy of African-Americans to the United States,” McDuffie said.
McDuffie represents Ward 5. On Tuesday, he’s planning to propose the African American History and Inclusion act of 2020 to the rest of the council.
If passed, it wouldn’t add additional requirements to graduate but would allow students to choose to take African-American history courses and have access to teachers to help them understand the impacts of it.
“I think the more students learn about, you know, diversity about the contributions of African Americans to American history, I think the more rounded they’ll be upon graduation,” McDuffie said.
Dr. Greg Carr, chair of Afro-American studies at Howard University, said he’s previously worked with the City of Philadelphia to implement a similar curriculum, and now he’s working directly with McDuffie.
“What we hope to see is that students, and not just students to the students, the parents in the community really gain a deeper awareness of the interconnectedness of humanity of the contribution of African people to World History, not only American history, and finally to the sense of the possible going forward,” Carr said.
These kids are just starting out their educational journey. McDuffie hopes by the time they get to high school, things will have changed.
“We have more in common than we have differences,” McDuffie said.
The bill must go through a number of committees before D.C. Council votes.
Seven votes will be needed in order for it to become law.