Black History Curriculum
In 2002, New Jersey’s governor signed into law the Amistad Bill (A1301). This bill created the “Amistad Commission” named in honor of the enslaved Africans who gained their freedom after overthrowing the crew of the Amistad ship in 1839. The Commission’s mandate is to promote a wider implementation of educational awareness programs regarding the African slave trade, slavery in America, and the many contributions African-Americans have made to American society. This legislated mandate also requires that all New Jersey schools infuse the study of African-American history into the curriculum.
Within Teaneck Public Schools, African and African-American history is infused into the K-12 social studies curriculum. The Amistad link serves as a sample of how the Amistad Commission’s recommended units are presented in the Teaneck social studies curriculum. While the document illustrates the curriculum map for grades 2, 4, 5 and 7, African and African-American history are included at every grade.
To further advance the teaching of African-American history, a selection of suggested Black History Month activities were created by district teachers for use in grades 3-8. The activities serve to supplement and enhance the existing curriculum, as students engage and explore the vast experiences and contributions of African and African-Americans on the national landscape.