Board candidates discuss requiring black studies courses in schools

3 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, March 23 2016 Mar 23, 2016 Wednesday, March 23, 2016 8:11:00 PM CDT March 23, 2016 in Top Stories
By: Ashley Holt, KOMU 8 Reporter & Hli Yang, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA – Columbia’s school board election reignited the conversation on teaching required black studies courses in Columbia Public Schools.

At Tuesday’s Columbia Board of Education candidate debate, all candidates supported adding more black studies into the district’s curriculum.

Current board member Jan Mees, who is running for re-election, said it was a unique question when the board was asked about adding more black studies courses.

“As our world continues to expand and diversify, the more we can do to help our students learn about people other than themselves, is really a win-win situation for everybody,” Mees said. 

Columbia Public Schools said it believes it’s just as important that students learn black history as the history of other races and religion.

CPS provided a list of courses that teach different cultures.


Columbia Public Schools currently offers an African-American Studies and Studies in American Race, Gender, and Ethnicity at Battle High School, Hickman High School, and Rock Bridge High School.

These classes, along with other classes that teach inclusiveness and cultures, are offered, but not required.

MU Black Studies Department Chair Stephanie Shonekan said black studies should be a requirement. She said giving students the opportunity to learn something about black people is a step in the right direction.

“What we’ve done this far hasn’t worked, we know,” Shonekan said. “Because of the types of tensions that still exist. And perhaps the reasons for those tensions is that there are a whole lot of people who don’t know, who don’t have a real understanding of what the black identity and the black identities in America are.”

MU student Luria Freeman said she was taught black studies in elementary school and has taken two black studies courses at MU.  She said she has benefited from taking those classes and it should be a requirement.  

“People who don’t get that are really being cheated,” Freeman said. “They’re coming into adulthood with a really skewed version of what they think our history is, which is affecting how they think of topics such as institutional racism.”

Shonekan said offering courses about other races or religion is welcomed, but courses about black studies should be the requirement. She said the problems in the U.S. for the past 5-20 years have been with the ways in which African Americans have been dealt with and perceived.

“We haven’t had a problem with Irish-American youth, in a pattern, as we’ve seen with African Americans,” Shonekan said. “We could say everyone should learn about stars, but stars have not been our problem in the last decade, race has been the problem.”

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - During the Columbia City Council meeting on Monday, it is expected to discuss construction for a hiking trail... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, June 17 2019 Jun 17, 2019 Monday, June 17, 2019 2:54:00 AM CDT June 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The city council plans to vote on the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) on Monday. The... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, June 17 2019 Jun 17, 2019 Monday, June 17, 2019 2:18:00 AM CDT June 17, 2019 in News
MILLER COUNTY - A Brumley man was pronounced dead at the scene of a single car accident on MO 42... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, June 16 2019 Jun 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019 8:33:00 PM CDT June 16, 2019 in News
FULTON - Two Fulton residents were arrested Sunday afternoon after authorities say they resisted arrest. Fulton Police attempted to... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, June 16 2019 Jun 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019 5:34:00 PM CDT June 16, 2019 in News
OLEAN - As natural disasters swept through Missouri, some people are unable to stay in their homes. Flood victims... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, June 16 2019 Jun 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019 5:00:00 PM CDT June 16, 2019 in News
ELDON - A St. Charles woman has died from injuries sustained after a golf cart crash in Eldon Saturday. ... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, June 16 2019 Jun 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019 4:42:00 PM CDT June 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A bill dubbed the "Jedi Disposal Act" could soon make Missouri the first state to allow... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, June 16 2019 Jun 16, 2019 Sunday, June 16, 2019 2:50:12 PM CDT June 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The missing 5-year-old girl found safe in North Carolina this week is now back in her father's custody.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 8:59:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Shelter Insurance will hold its 43rd season of Concerts in the Garden series. According to Shelter Insurance's... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 8:12:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - Five people were injured when a passenger boat exploded on the Lake of the Ozarks Saturday afternoon.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 6:56:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY - One man is dead and another injured after a two vehicle collision in Cooper County Friday afternoon.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 4:20:47 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Workers and volunteers began cleaning up Cooper’s Landing Saturday after recent flooding forced them to close down... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 3:04:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
HATTON - One man is in custody after leading Callaway County Sheriff's deputies on a chase near Hatton Friday evening.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 3:04:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Two more women were arrested in connection to the case of a missing Boone County child who was... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 10:12:00 AM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Cooper's Landing is asking people to help them clean up after recent flooding. The restaurant closed nearly... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 11:10:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in Continuous News
MEXICO - Ayanna Shivers made history on April 8 when the Mexico City Council elected her mayor. Shivers is... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 10:58:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
RUSSELLVILLE - The volunteer fire department in Russellville is celebrating after receiving new tires for one of its trucks. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 9:42:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Chariton County man charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his fiance has pleaded not guilty.... More >>
2 days ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 9:04:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
9am 69°
10am 69°
11am 71°
12pm 72°