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New bill would require African-American history be taught as part of Michigan’s K-12 curriculum

Bart Everson

A new bill in the state house would require that African American history become a part of Michigan’s K-12 curriculum.

The bill would create a commission to tasked with developing grade appropriate instruction on African American history.

Democratic State Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo is the bill sponsor. She said it’s important that African American history is not overlooked or omitted in the classroom.

“Certainly, Michigan can be a leader nationally in making sure we align our curriculum with a population of people of color that we have here.”

The bill calls for the study of African-American history during the reconstruction and civil rights era. Gay-Dagnogo said it’s important to expand what is taught in the classroom.

“Beyond just typical slavery and how African Americans got to America but also making sure we move on up to address and highlight the many contributions that have been made to the United States of America by African Americans.”

Gay-Dagnogo said the goal is not to create an additional required class but to ensure that African-American history is integrated fully into school curriculum.

She said she’s also been in early talks with the State Board of Education about updating the state’s social studies curriculum.