PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Public schools in Rhode Island are now required to teach a comprehensive African American history and heritage curriculum under legislation signed into law Friday by Gov. Daniel McKee.
“The inclusion of African heritage and history in Rhode Island curricula is long overdue,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. “I hope that Rhode Island will lead the nation in the effort to educate our young people on a full scope of history, including teaching students about events that took place right where they live."
The curriculum was developed by Rhode Island historical and academic institutions.
The ceremonial bill signing took place at the Old Brick School House in Providence, a building that dates to 1769, and in 1828 became a city-supported school for Black children.
“Knowing this truth is essential to a united society and I am very happy that these lessons will finally be presented to our students, and adults as well, so that they may go forth into the world truly knowing the many parts of our society that work for everyone and that sadly, currently there are still too many remaining caught in a cycle of intolerance and injustice," state Rep. Anastasia Williams, D-Providence, said in a statement.