Loudoun Public Schools Administration Building

The Loudoun County Public Schools administration building in Ashburn

Loudoun County Public Schools is one of 16 school divisions in the commonwealth that will offer a new high school elective course covering African American history during the 2020-2021 school year, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Aug. 27.

“Black history is American history, but for too long, the story we have told was insufficient and inadequate,” Northam said in a prepared statement. “The introduction of this groundbreaking course is a first step toward our shared goal of ensuring all Virginia students have a fuller, more accurate understanding of our history, and can draw important connections from those past events to our present day.”

The governor a little more than a year ago directed the Virginia Department of Education to develop the new, full-credit course in collaboration with Virtual Virginia and WHRO Public Media, as well as historians, history teachers and professors.

Students taking the elective will follow African American history from precolonial Africa through today, covering the transatlantic slave trade, the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movement and the present state of Black culture in America.

In addition, a capstone project will require students to independently research a question or issue of their choice.

Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, a former history teacher, called the new course “long overdue.”

“We can expect young Virginians to understand the enduring impacts of systemic racism only when they fully understand both the oppression experienced by African Americans and their significant contributions to STEM, the arts, education, law, and advocacy,” he said in a prepared statement.

Per the governor’s office, some of the 16 participating school systems plan to implement the course during the fall semester, while others will wait until the spring.

More information on the course is available bit.ly/2EtfkDM.

(20) comments

Fiscalconservative

I hope LCPS is also adding Asian History, Latin American History, European History, Mexican History, White History etc if not than it is discriminating against all the other races.

ABee

Loudoun would be well served if squeaky Eric Williams apologized to parents for his recent lies and misrepresentations about this coming school year.

mover

Along with all the major unieversities throughout the United states that brought students to campus and are now going virtual and the many, many schools that led families to believe their kids would do hybrid and now, instead of a month ahead of time are changing to virtual giving just days of turn around time to parents.

amerigirl

What lies?

Big Daddy 348759

What if one disagrees with Virginia Secretary of Education's assertion that there is "systemic racism"? Without this assertion there is just plain old racism and all the wheels fall off this heralded car. The term systemic racism is used as though it is a known fact, yet has anyone proven this with facts and documentation? No, I couldn't find any either. Here is a great article one just one aspect of this spreading myth:

wsj.com/articles/the-myth-of-systemic-police-racism-11591119883

Loudoun Observer

Never let actual facts get in the way of a good virtue signal.

Loudoun4Trump

This is a great addition and I hope they tell the truth about the history....Democrats treated african americans horribly throughout the years....just read Frederick Douglass book by David Blight and it is just awful how democrats think and act when they don't get their way with policy decisions....how the democrats treat the black community is just plain wrong!

LoudounPulse

Democrats in the 1860s were the party of Slavery and the Republicans were the party of Abolition. In 2020 the Democrats are the party of Welfare For All and Republicans are the party of Business and Institutions. To try and link party names and platforms across 160 years is a bit of a foolish argument. That aside, Democrats proclaim to help Black Americans, but their help actually translates into a life of dependency and not help of uplift and empowerment. For example, Apple is a big supporter of the Democrats Party, yet they don't have a single Black American on their Board. Instead of Democrats funding college degrees of Black Americans to become productive citizens, they instead spend money on lawsuits in Loudoun to cry about the lack of diversity among LCPS teachers. So Loudoun4Trump, you should find a new battle flag than 1860 Democrat's looking to keep Black People in chains. After 160 years, things have changed and that argument will not win over any Black Americans to denounce the DNC.

Chris McHale

LP - I actually agree and appreciate your post.

Loudoun4Trump

Not foolish at all....look who is acting like a mob and destroying cities throughout the country -- all democrats in D run cities, those chaos mobs of 1860 KKK and current mobs of BLM/Antifa.....they haven't changed at all and I would not be surprised if they create another civil war since it looks like Trump will win this year at this point....

Mike Kay

L4T: Once again, showing his epic ignorance. The rioters on BOTH sides are extremists, and neither the Trump-RINOs nor the Democrats are part of either effort. The far right "Boogaloo Bois" and other white supremacist rioters are far more likely to be Trump supporters than the far left supporters are likely to be Biden supporters. Get some help. You're a disturbed individual.

amerigirl

That is a foolish statement, most cities are democratic, of the 100 largest only 29 have republican mayors. You have failed again at American history. Failed to realize that the party platform switch, remember the Dixiecrats? In case you don’t remember https://www.history.com/news/how-the-party-of-lincoln-won-over-the-once-democratic-south. Which is why all those ult-right and white nationalists align with trump. BLM is a group fighting for equality, how does that make them democrats? Antifa, you have no clue who they really are, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/what-is-antifa-a-look-at-the-movement-trump-is-blaming-for-violence-at-protests. The only group looking for a civil war is the right wing Boogaloo Boys. Please freshen up on the facts instead of believing all the conspiracy theories the pathological liar in chief makes. You don’t want to look as ignorant as him.

amerigirl

Trump said “I saved HBCUs. We saved them, they were going out, and we saved them.” He refered to bipartisan legislation, dubbed the FUTURE Act, that the U.S. Congress passed in December. So, as fact-checkers rightly noted, it’s a stretch at best for the president to claim he single-handedly saved the colleges by signing the law. The White House under Trump has each year proposed steep cuts to higher education and scientific research. And some of those suggested cuts, such as the 2018 White House proposal to restructure and slash TRIO programs by 40 percent, would disproportionately affect HBCU students. Trump also has sought to eliminate the Strengthening Historically Black Colleges program. There are plenty of examples of republican supporting companies that don’t have any blacks on their boards ether, so that statement is a non-statement. You are saying that 1 group, the dems are doing something that another group, the NAACP is doing. They are not the same entity. How do you blame the democratic party of things the NAACP is doing? You have just lumped people you think lean left into I group. They each do what their jobs are. Again you seem ignorant of the platform change, https://www.history.com/news/how-the-party-of-lincoln-won-over-the-once-democratic-south. Those Democrat's looking to keep Black People in chains would be the republican party today.

Squaks11

This is a great addition.

Virginia SGP

More offerings are always a good thing.

LoudounPulse

Offering an "elective course" is how you look good for the media, but can expect the people who should take the course won't. Unless there is an unwritten rule that colleges give a higher acceptance ranking to students having taken that course vs. those who haven't taken it.

Virginia SGP

Why should this be a required course? Are you out of your mind? It's great as an elective. The core courses (World/European History, US History, US Gov't) should be required. They include pieces of all our history from graduating from the Stone Age, development of things like the wheel/writing/agriculture, and the formation of modern states. If students want to pursue useless majors like "victim studies of the Stone Age peoples", then they are free to take whatever class they want. But education is about teaching our students how we advanced from being a hunter-gatherer society into a sophisticated, modern, OBJECTIVE, prosperous civilization. Those advancements are where we should focus.

Comment deleted.
Virginia SGP

That is simply an objective fact. Much of the advances that allowed humans to develop into societies originated out of the 4 river valleys: Yellow, Indus, Mesopotamia, and Nile. (wheel, agriculture, Bronze Age, etc.) Writing was developed in each of these locations. After first developing in modern-day Turkey, iron production spread throughout the civilized world (China, Mediterranean, Middle East) about 4000 years ago. This is all covered in world history.

The pre-cursor to the United States came from Europe. Soon after the Roman colonization and its fall, Europe began to rise and dominate the world. The development of advanced ships, long-distance trading, gun powder, and eventually steel led Europe to dominate the world in the last 500 years (interestingly as late as 1800, China produced 30% of the world's GDP. They also had large ships, paper, gunpowder and many other advances but didn't venture outside Asia)

The rest of the world was stuck in a pre-historical Stone Age. A say "pre-historical" because they didn't have/use writing systems. Thus, we don't even have a record of their history other than oral myths handed down. I say Stone Age because they had not mastered the use of iron or even bronze to develop modern tools like the wheel (metal tools are needed to create the tolerances that reduce friction but still allow for greasing). It took 500 conquistadors to conquer the entire Aztec empire. 500. Similar feats were repeated in Africa.

These are not in dispute. It isn't "racist" to objectively recount what happened. It's a fact. Science (the incremental advancements built on objective results of falsifiable hypotheses) allowed Europe to propel far beyond any civilization since 1500 A.D. The stories that are romanticized (spirits, gods, etc.) from these prehistoric Stone Age peoples would be categorized as a cult if they were in place today. These peoples still had no way to determine what was objectively true when the Europeans lifted them out of the Stone Age.

Answer me this. Would any descendant of these peoples rather live in huts today or have access to electricity, iPhones, and cars? European explorations was an unambiguous good for the world. That is the true history of the last millenia.

Not4Long

How about we wait to see what the curriculum looks like. African "American" history is AMERICAN history. We don't need another course to teach this, we just need to make sure the current courses on American history cover it! Someone above said it best, when do we get a Mexican American history course, an Irish American or German American or Asian American history course? I'm sorry but our elected officials have simply lost their mind and are simply pandering to specific groups at this point. At some point it will come back to bite them in their backside.

LetSanityPrevail

Well said. Include contributions of all groups as part of the regular curriculum of studies whether it be history, science, literature, music, art etc. Separating group histories continues the otherness and does not serve to unify us as Americans.

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