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‘Black history is American history’: Challenging history education to reach beyond the classroom

Educators explore how expanding Black history in Virginia schools will help end systemic racism

Challenging history education to reach beyond the classroom
Challenging history education to reach beyond the classroom

ROANOKE, Va. – “Black history is American history.”

It’s the bold statement Eboni Harrington, a seventh-grade math teacher at Lucy Addison Middle School in Roanoke, lives by.

“How can students from my background, my community and my culture know where they’re going if they don’t know where they come from?” asks Harrington.

Harrington doesn’t just teach in Roanoke; she grew up here, graduating from Roanoke County’s Northside High School.

It’s become her passion to make her community better and it starts in the classroom.

After teaching the required curriculum in her two-hour core enrichment class, Harrington uses the extra time for guest speakers to teach confidence, leadership and also both regional and national Black history.

“If we’re teaching history why not teach the full history. Because if I only teach one side of the history, how do my students know their background?” said Harrington.

She’s not the only one who is realizing how one-sided history is in Virginia education.


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