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Democratic Lawmaker Is Upset Tennessee Republicans Won’t Discuss Plan To Teach More Black History

Tennessee State Board of Education/Twitter

State representatives in Tennessee are meeting this week to have a study session on education. It’s a chance for lawmakers to get together and discuss proposed legislation. But one lawmaker is upset after his proposal to expand teaching of Black history didn’t make the agenda.

Republicans promised to hear the bill in summer study. The measure calls for more inclusion of Black Americans in the state’s history standards by the 2025 school year.  

The idea was to work out the issues and start debating it in January. 

The measure’s sponsor, Rep. Yusuf Hakeem, says the move to leave it off the agenda disrespects him and his constituents. 

“We’re talking about over 60,000,” Hakeem said. “And there are other representatives, both Black and White, who I think would concur that if it was said that we’re going to talk about this in summer study, that that should be done.”

The Chattanooga Democrat questions if this is a power move by the Republican supermajority. 

Hakeem says he may attempt to add it into the agenda when the study session begins. The likeliness of success is unknown. 

Less than a month after Hakeem’s legislation was tabled for summer study, policy limiting what teachers can say about racial inequality in public schools passed.

Copyright 2021 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit WPLN.

Blaise Gainey is a Multimedia Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.
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