On Wednesday, the SBOE heard public testimony from students, educators and stakeholders in favor of implementing an African American Studies course, which would be the second Ethnic Studies course to be offered as an elective in Texas schools, joining Mexican American Studies which passed last year.
Over the next several months, the board will create curriculum standards for the course based on an existing class in the Dallas Independent School District, and is expected to take a final vote in April.
“The history of black people and their culture does not begin nor end with the tragedy that is slavery,” said Deshauntia Benn, TSTA’s Human and Civil Rights Coordinator, testifying at the hearing. “The addition of an African American course of study will expose all students to significant accomplishments, innovations, and heroism of African Americans. Equally significant, it will create among all students a shared understanding of the dreams that bind us together and the attitudes that can break us apart.”