COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - A new House Bill proposes public K-12 schools should include a semester-long course in Black American history.
If passed, the required course would cover important events in Black American history, including the history of slavery in America.
Alabama’s long history has included Black Americans for centuries — from slavery, to being the birthplace of historic figures like Nat King Cole and Rosa Parks.
If passed, House Bill 7, sponsored by Representatives Anthony Daniels of Huntsville and Juandalynn Givan of Birmingham, would require public schools to include a semester-long course in Black American history.
Principal of Colbert Heights High School, Melcha Satchel said he thinks students would benefit from the change.
“For me as an educator, or to make it personal, why not enlighten them or try to do something to change the perspective of some of the hardships and some of the divide that we’re seeing in our country right now,” said Satchel.
He added he believes it would be beneficial in countless ways.
“It will benefit all students because like I said when you go into the workplace, diversity. Understanding what may be a term that is listed in the history book to see that term was considered offensive,” said Satchel.
Google search data indicates research for Black History Month in Alabama has decreased over the past five years.
Satchel said he believes search numbers are lowering due to a lack of emphasis on the topic within the classroom.
“Nobody’s forcing them to check into history and I think as time continues to go on we’re continuing to get further away from the 50′s and the 60′s and there’s a disconnect. And that’s a cultural thing. You can base that on society. I think all of those factors have an influence on that,” said Satchel.
The bill must first clear the House Education Policy committee before being sent for potential votes in the House and Senate.