Black history curriculum updated in public board
'It's actually a kind of a necessity'
Inside the halls of West Gate public school you can see many styles of African art.
Students have created their own African masks and some coloured patches for a freedom quilt.
The Greater Essex County District School Board recently revised its African-Canadian studies for the elementary school grades. Called 'African Canadian Roads to Freedom,' the text suggests to teachers that these studies should not be an event, but rather part of an ongoing process throughout the year.
The school board had artists come in and visit West Gate, showing students dancing and drumming and giving the teachers an idea of how to present the new curriculum to their classes.
"Students got to reflect on the true meaning of what it was to be a slave. We had some really meaningful conversations that came as a result of the words of the songs," said Keith Williamson a music teacher at West Gate.
Williamson said this made the experience real for students.
"It isn't just about black history. You're learning about the mind set of people back in the day," said Dami Babsolorunfemi, a seventh grade student.
Babsolorunfemi said it's important for everyone to know about Canada's diverse history.
"It's good to know what happened, so knowing what happened in the past, you know what to do in the future. It's actually a kind of necessity," Babsolorunfemi said.