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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Congresswoman Beatty Introduces Black History is American History Act

Feb 26, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — As Black History Month comes to a close, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Chair of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), is introducing the Black History is American History Act, legislation that would mandate the inclusion of Black history as a required component of the American History and Civics Academies’ competitive grants administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

The American History and Civics Academies support the establishment of the Presidential Academy for American History and Civics, offering workshops for teachers of American history and civics to strengthen their knowledge and preparation for lecturing in these areas. The program also supports the establishment of the Congressional Academy for high-need students of American history and civics to develop a broader and deeper understanding. However, Black history is not a required component for either Academy.

“Black history is American history, and it is crucial to understanding the complexity of our nation’s past, present and future—not just slavery and civil rights,” Beatty said. “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.”

If enacted into law, the piece of legislation would: (1) require entities applying for and receiving grants through the Presidential and Congressional Academies to include Black history as part of the American history and civics related workshops and teachings for educators and students; (2) promote the use of resources offered by the National Museum of African American History and Culture; and (3) encourage continued inclusion of Black history in tests administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The Black History is American History Act was previously introduced by U.S. Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11) in the 116th Congress. The bill is backed by the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) and is awaiting further consideration in the House Education and Labor Committee.