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Joyce Beatty reintroduces Black History is American History Act

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio)
Greg Nash
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) speaks to a reporter outside then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) office on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) on Wednesday, the first day of Black History Month, reintroduced the Black History is American History Act, which would require Black history to be part of the American History and Civics Academies’ competitive grants. 

The grants are administered by the Department of Education and used to help improve student achievement in subjects such as American history in elementary schools. 

The legislation would make it so educators and students would learn about Black history in workshops related to American history, promote resources available from the National Museum of African American History and Culture and pressure the National Assessment of Educational Progress to include Black history in their tests, according to a statement from the congresswoman. 

“Black history is American history, and it is under unprecedented attack,” Beatty said. “Black history is crucial to understanding the complexity of our nation’s past, present and future — not just slavery and civil rights. By incentivizing schools and educators to teach Black history in the classroom, we can all learn important lessons in our country’s ongoing journey toward creating a ‘more perfect Union’ for all Americans.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently rejected the pilot Advanced Placement African American studies course for its inclusion of Black queer history and promotion of authors associated with critical race theory, an academic framework that involves looking at how racism has historically been embedded in American law and institutions.

The College Board released a revised version of the course on Wednesday that was decried by activists who said the organization bowed to DeSantis’s demands. 

The College Board said it had been working on changes to the course before DeSantis voiced his complaints and contends the final version is “an unflinching encounter with the facts and evidence of African American history and culture.”

Tags African American studies AP African American Studies course Black history Black History Month Crticial race theory Joyce Beatty Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis

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