Cherry Hill becomes first school district in NJ to require African American history course
CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Cherry Hill has become the first school district in New Jersey to mandate an African American History course for graduation.
"We need to celebrate Black excellence. We need to celebrate what has made this so strong and so successful," Cherry Hill Schools Superintendent Dr. Joseph Meloche said.
Starting next fall in Cherry Hill, a full semester, two a half-credit court will be a requirement for the district's 11,000 plus students.
The idea of a mandated class came from students themselves after the death of George Floyd.
"History is one of my favorite subjects and I think Black students and student of all colors and religion it could be great to see themselves represented," junior Xandria McKinnley said.
Students say it's a victory not just for them but a legacy for future students.
"I have a younger brother and this course is going to be implemented next year he’s an incoming freshman so I’m excited he’s going to have the opportunity to take this course," senior Machayla Randall said.
The predominantly white district with just 8% African American students could prompt other districts to do the same.
"Not only is Cherry Hill watching, but the state of New Jersey, the nation and internationally, so they leave a legacy," advocate Yanell Joseph said.
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