New Jersey U.S. Sen. Cory Booker introduced the Senate companion to New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman’s African American History Act. This legislation provides resources to strengthen opportunities to educate the American public about African American history and the impacts of racism, white supremacy, and the struggle for justice.
Booker and Bowman’s legislation invests $10 million over 5 years in the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to support African American history education programs that are voluntarily available for students, parents, and educators.
“The story of Black people in America is inextricably linked to the story of America,” Booker said. “This story must be reckoned with so that we can honestly reflect upon our nation’s past moral wrongs and the long and ongoing quest for justice that has been undertaken by Black Americans.”
This bill will help the NMAAHC expand and improve upon their work in a variety of ways, including developing and maintaining a variety of accessible resources to promote an understanding of African American history.
This includes a collection of digital content, housed on the NMAAHC website, to assist educators, students, and families across the country in teaching about and engaging with African American history.
“It is our moral imperative to tell the truth about our past to finally reconcile with this nation’s history of racism and white nationalism, and our legislation will serve as a vital component in our fight to do just that,” said Bowman. “The moment we are in requires of us a clear-eyed vision to ensure that not just our children but people of all ages have access to resources and education that accurately recount African American history.”
The bill supports the NMAAHC’s work to increase national capacity for African American history education, including developing and disseminating high quality pedagogy related to teaching African American history and providing opportunities for Professional Development for early childhood, elementary, and secondary teachers,” said Booker, “As we begin Black History Month, I am proud to introduce this legislation that will invest in initiatives to make African American history education programs more accessible to the public, help educators incorporate these programs into their curriculum, and develop additional resources focused on Black History for students and families to engage with.”