Chapter President Dr. Uzziah Harris addresses the Virginia Department of Education at Wednesday’s public hearing at PVCC in Charlottesville.
The Virginia NAACP demands the Virginia Board of Education reject the January 2023 version of the Standards presented by former Superintendent of Education Jillian Balow, who resigned on March 1st, and re-consider the August 2022 version of the standards that is far more equitable. The Virginia Board of Education accepted the January 2023 SOL revision after the Virginia Social Studies Leaders Consortium (VSSLC), the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASCD), and the American Historical Association (AHA) released the “Proposed Combined History and Social Studies Standards” that combines the August 2022 and November 2022 iterations, and that the Virginia NAACP supports. Additionally, we implore Governor Youngkin to appoint a new Superintendent who adopts History and Social Studies Standards that reflect and include the expertise of Virginia educators, scholars, and citizens who value historical accuracy, have a sound understanding of to combine scholarship with pedagogy effectively, and will not be used as pawns to propel a political agenda committed to reifying the myth of American exceptionalism and eliminating Black history from the school curriculum. We appreciate the opportunity for concerned citizens to participate in statewide hearings and we encourage our members to have their voices heard.
Please Review the summary published by the American Historical Association, an organization also dedicated to pushing back against ahistorical presentations and interpretations in K-12 education, and Kimberlee Crenshaw on The Reid Out and Democracy Now. This discussion helps to contextualize current efforts to erase Black history.
The American Historical Association (AHA) has continued to monitor with concern the revisions process for proposed History and Social Science Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools. Now, the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) wants to hear from members of the public in preparation for final review.
Formal historical records and textbooks had largely excluded African American contributions to the nation’s history. Other pieces of media, like the famous film The Birth of a Nation (1915), had misrepresented Black history by relying on stereotypes or perpetuating a “Lost Cause” retelling of the Civil War, which sought to remember the Confederacy in a positive light. Among other things, the Lost Cause narrative argued that the war had little to do with enslavement.
Each form of popularized history had one thing in common: they told Black history without including Black people in the writing process.
Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month, changed all that…
With research support from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture and the Chicago History Museum In the early 20th century, Black Americans were fighting to tell their own story. Formal historical records and textbooks had largely excluded African American contributions to the nation’s history.
There are a number of museums that tell those stories spread across Alabama, but the Confederate Memorial Park is different. It is the only museum in the state that has a dedicated revenue stream codified in the state’s constitution. So while other museums struggle to keep their doors open, search for grants for funding and depend on volunteer staff, the Confederate Memorial Park is flush with cash. In 2020 alone, the park received $670,000 in taxpayer dollars. That’s about $22 per visitor and more than five times the $4 admission price for adults.
There are scattered mentions of slavery throughout the displays, but for the most part, the museum focuses on the story of Confederate soldiers on the battlefield, mostly highlighting the bravery they displayed and the principles they were fighting for. The exhibit quotes Confederates like E.S. Dargan, who said: “If the relation of master and slave be dissolved, and our slaves turned loose amongst us without restraint, they would either be destroyed by our own hands — the hands to which they look with confidence, for protection — or we ourselves would become demoralized and degraded.”
MOUNTAIN CREEK, Ala. – Down a country road, past a collection of ramshackle mobile homes, sits a 102-acre “shrine to the honor of Alabama’s citizens of the Confederacy.” The state’s Confederate Memorial Park is a sprawling complex, home to a small museum and two well-manicured cemeteries with neat rows of headstones – that look a lot like those in Arlington National Cemetery – for hundreds of Confederate veterans.
The Culpeper branch of the NAACP holds its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month. We are currently meeting at the Culpeper Business Center at 14115 Lovers Lane, Culpeper, 22701. All are welcome; you do not have to be a member to attend.