Why Virginia schools may change the way they teach Black history

Black history may soon be taught differently in classrooms across the Commonwealth.
Posted at 11:53 PM, Feb 12, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- Black history may soon be taught differently in classrooms across the Commonwealth following a discussion on how to improve what teachers share with students.

"This is bigger than just a history lesson," Jer'Mykeal McCoy of the Urban League of Greater Richmond said.

Attendees packed inside the Black History Museum and Cultural Center Wednesday to hear from a diverse panel of community members who were there to dig deeper into what is taught in Virginia's classrooms.

"Creation of new content is imperative, and also the implementation of 21st century innovative practices like virtual reality," Richmond historian and author Elvatrice Belsches said.

These ideas will soon be passed along to the African American History Education Commission, a group established by Gov. Ralph Northam last year.

Some attendees also argued that teachers need to learn more about the backgrounds of their students.

"Taking a course in how to be a teacher, a just teacher," said a Richmond teacher attending the meeting. "That means no matter what classroom you're in, you know how to treat everybody's child."

"Virginia has the opportunity to get it right this time and set the bar higher for the nation and I think we need to take this opportunity to do it right," another attendee said.



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