CALUMET CITY, Ill. – To help educate Illinois students on the role African-Americans played in the history of the United States, state Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, is sponsoring legislation to require African-American history be taught in public elementary schools and high schools.
“African-Americans have played a crucial role in our nation’s history and I believe it’s important for all students to learn about the struggles black men and women have faced,” Jones said. “Now more than ever, we see how a lack of understanding and appreciation for the history of others fuels intolerance and hate. Providing young people with a better understanding of the history of African-Americans, and a fuller, truer understanding of American history as a whole, is a powerful way to combat bigotry and racism.”
Jones is sponsoring House Bill 726, which would require that African-American History be taught in every public elementary school and high school. His legislation also requires community colleges and public universities to offer African-American History courses.
Subjects to be covered under the African-American history courses include the history of the African slave trade, slavery in America, and the vestiges of slavery in the country. Contributions made by individual African-Americans in government, humanities, sciences, and to the economic, cultural, and political development of the United States and Africa would be highlighted. The socio-economic struggle that African-Americans have experienced collectively in striving to achieve fair and equal treatment under the laws of the United States would also be included in the material.
“For too long, history has been taught overwhelmingly from a white perspective,” Jones said. “It is important for students to know that the history of our country is not just a white history, but includes all races, including African-Americans.”