Include More Black History in PA School Curriculums

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Now that we have gained America's attention as the Black Lives Matter movement makes national and world headlines, it is time that we voice our demands. The reform for racial and economic justice for black people in America continues and it is essential that the next generation of leaders are educated on the Black History that has shaped not only this country, but the world.

According to the Pennsylvania's Academic Standards for history in secondary education (6th - 12th grade), "Pennsylvania’s public schools shall teach, challenge and support every student to realize his or her maximum potential and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to..." Too often, the first exposure students in Pennsylvania school districts have to black people in US and PA history courses is through the study of slavery. Even then, black people are portrayed as barbaric and savage people who were "lucky" to have been brought to America and be freed from "poverty-stricken Africa." This can play a psychological role on black and white students because it is learned that through slavery, white Americans are superior. This creates division in the classroom and an uncomfortable learning space for black students. It can be argued that the Civil Rights Movement is empowering to black students, however; instead of learning about more of the positives that come from this movement, we learn about segregation and police brutality due to the "rebellion, rioting, and looting" done by black people. We do not learn about the leaders in the Black community other than Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

We demand that Pennsylvania schools live up to their academic standards and include more Black History in school curriculums to ensure that black students reach their "maximum potential" and do not feel inferior to their white counterparts. This includes learning about more black inventors, mathematicians, scientists, doctors, and millionaires. All students need to be aware of events other than the Civil Rights Movement like the Rosewood Massacre, the Tulsa Race Massacre, and so much more.

By signing this petition, you will not only support the reconstruction of school curriculums in the state of Pennsylvania, but you will also be a part of this new generation Civil Rights Movement towards permanent change and equality for Black Americans.

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