Advocates push black history curriculum in city schools

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BROOKLYN -

Activists and elected officials gathered in front of P.S. 298 Wednesday to push for a year-round black history curriculum in city schools.

Advocates say black history is an important part of American history and that it should not be confined to one month. They want all students from kindergarten through high school to have a full black history curriculum -- and they say African-American history is American history.

The move comes on the heels of several controversial incidents, including two in the Bronx. In one, a teacher was allegedly barred by her school's principal from teaching about the Harlem Renaissance. Another incident involved a white teacher at M.S. 118 stepping on the backs of black students in a lesson about slavery. In Queens, a student who was named after Malcolm X says he was not allowed to put the name on his senior sweatshirt.

"I call it cultural insensitivity, and I also call it racism, and we have to end it in the year 2018," said state Sen. Jesse Hamilton.

Sen. Hamilton is sponsoring a bill to create the black history curriculum. It is currently being reviewed by the Senate's Education Committee.

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