Newport pushes for more Black history education in schools


NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — The Newport City Council is encouraging the Rhode Island General Assembly and Gov. Gina Raimondo to enact legislation to provide Black history education in all public schools.

A resolution passed unanimously by council members Wednesday said the legislation should “authorize the Rhode Island Department of Education to include African Heritage history education in all public K-12 schools starting in the 2021-22 Academic Year,” according to The Newport Daily News.

Councilwoman Jeanne-Marie Napolitano was the lead sponsor of the resolution, but she credited Theresa Guzman Stokes and Keith Stokes, leaders in the the Black Heritage Society, for playing a part in developing it.

The Black Heritage Society has an extensive collection of documents, photographs, and artifacts from Black people of Rhode Island and works in collaboration with other historical societies across the state, according to the resolution.

“The contributions of African Heritage people from all walks of life and their endeavors to learn and thrive throughout history and make unforgettable marks in our city, state, and nation as artists, scientists, educators, business people, influential thinkers, members of the faith community, athletes, and political and government leaders, reflect the greatness of the State of Rhode Island,” the resolution says.

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