Gov. Northam announces launch of new African American history course

Gov. Northam announces launch of new African American history course
Governor Ralph Northam holding a briefing in Richmond (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville is one of more than a dozen school visions in the commonwealth that is adding a new high school-level elective course on African American history.

“Black history is American history, but for too long, the story we have told was insufficient and inadequate,” said Governor Northam in a press release Thursday, August 27. “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.”

Northam’s office says the full-credit course will survey African American history from precolonial Africa through today.

The governor directed the Virginia Department of Education to collaborate with Virtual Virginia, WHRO Public Media, and committees of history teachers, historians, and history professors last year to develop the new history course. Members of Northam’s Commission on African-American History Education in the Commonwealth provided comments and guidance during the development process.

The governor’s office says teachers presenting the course will receive professional development and support throughout the year.

The 16 school divisions offering the course this year include:

  • Alleghany County
  • Amherst County
  • Arlington County
  • Carroll County
  • Charlottesville
  • Chesterfield County
  • Covington
  • Franklin County
  • Henrico County
  • Henry County
  • Loudoun County
  • Norfolk
  • Portsmouth
  • Prince William County
  • Suffolk
  • Winchester