Governor Carney signs HB198 requiring Black history instruction

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“The only way we can secure our future is to understand and reconcile our past. We have a deep and proud history, but many of us don’t know the full story,” said Governor Carney.

WILMINGTON (DE) BY DIGITAL STAFF: Governor John Carney on Thursday signed House Bill 198, legislation that requires each school district and charter school serving K-12 students to provide instruction on Black history as part of all educational programming beginning in the 2022-23 academic year. 


The legislation was sponsored by Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker and Senator Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman.

“The only way we can secure our future is to understand and reconcile our past. We have a deep and proud history, but many of us don’t know the full story,” said Governor Carney. “This bill is about helping all of us understand that full story – the good and the bad – so that we can secure a better future. Thank you to Representative Dorsey Walker and Senator Lockman for their leadership in passing this legislation.” 


Under House Bill 198, schools will rely heavily on primary sourcing in teaching Black history, including the significance of enslavement in the development of American economy and the contributions of Black people to American life, history, literature, the economy, politics and culture.

The bill requires instruction to recognize the impact of racial and historical trauma, while engaging students about the roles and responsibilities of all citizens to combat racism.  

“Isolating Black history to 28 days does a great disservice to the countless Black Americans who have contributed to our nation throughout the past 400 years. Black history is American history,” said Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker, D-Wilmington. “When teaching the history of our nation, the achievements, challenges, contributions, struggles and triumphs of Black people should not be limited to one month, but be a part of every aspect of education, just as they unfolded in history. This inclusive curriculum will help all students of all races to see Black people as integral to this nation and will greatly enhance the educational experience of our young people. I’m honored to see this monumental piece of legislation signed into law.”

“An accurate history of our nation and its people must make more than passing references to Black Americans. It should include a full account of our contributions to our country and our culture, well beyond the context of our subjugation,” said Senator Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, D-Wilmington. “Our American history classes have always been full of stories of oppression and rebellion, struggle and triumph, yet not every student sees themselves reflected in that history despite the fact that their community persisted through similar experiences. Embracing our full history and sharing it with our young people will give them an opportunity to understand these interwoven narratives. I want to thank Governor Carney and my colleagues in the Assembly for refusing to shield Delaware’s children from a full and complete history of our state and nation.”

 

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