New Law Requires Black History Courses at Public Colleges in Illinois

Historians in the News
tags: curriculum, African American history

Beginning Tuesday, public colleges and universities throughout the state must offer a course studying black history.

In 1981, a state law was passed to make sure that all public schools in Illinois teach black history. And in 2016, Chicago Public Schools history teachers believed that CPS didn’t do enough to implement black history classes into its curriculum.

The fact that the existing state mandates weren’t always followed is one reason state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford co-sponsored the bill.

“We’re going to have an audit on every school district in the state. In today’s times, where we have so much racial tension, we need to know each others’ culture,” Ford said. “You can’t have institutional learning that’s not complete.”

South Side native Joshua Adams, an assistant professor of media and communications at Salem State University, believes the legislation is a step in the right direction since most students never take a black history course until college.

“The way American history is taught around the country often leaves most students unequipped to know about and think critically about where we came from as a country and where we are going,” Adams said.

Read entire article at Chicago Sun Times

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