Carter G. Woodson is known as the Father of Black History Month. In February of 1926, Woodson established Negro History Week to highlight Black achievement and its impact on American society. 50 years later, the week expanded into a month-long celebration observed as Black History Month, where millions remember and honor past and present African American trailblazers, leaders, activists, and more. However, it is our belief (hence our creation) that 28, sometimes 29 days out of the year, isn’t enough. Students from Terry Parker High School believe the same.
Earlier this week, students of the high school in Jacksonville, Florida staged a sit in to protest against their school for only offering a semester-long African American Studies course.
10th grader Angelique Rouge, one of the protest organizers, expressed: “Being able to have a full course of African American history … that will honestly make a big difference. It will help the cultural gap.”
About 10 students participated in the sit in, and as a result, got the attention of the school administrators, including the Superintendent (Dr. Nikolai Vitti), who said at the district’s school board meeting:
“I respect that students demonstrated self-advocacy and used their voice to signal concerns about their education. If there is student demand for a full-credit and year-long African-American History course, then we should and will provide it to students. We will work through the process of developing and offering that course.”
Thank you for taking a stand and reaffirming our belief that Black history can and should be taught in classrooms (and out) year-round.
Do you know of any full year African-American or Black history courses in your school district?