The Association for Teaching Black History in KY
The newly formed Association for Teaching Black History in Kentucky is a collaborative effort with the following current founding member organizations: Berea College, Berea, Kentucky; Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky; The Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville, Kentucky; and Kentucky History Resources, LLC (a subsidiary of the nonprofit Thomas D. Clark Foundation which supports the University Press of Kentucky), Lexington, Kentucky. The Association was organized in 2022 to recover the social, historical, and cultural contributions of black Kentuckians and to make these materials readily available to teachers in the Commonwealth, thereby promoting quality K-12 instruction in history. The goal is to ensure an inclusive, respectful experience for all students that provides for their academic success.
Knowledge of the historical past exists to serve the needs of the living. This includes an honest reckoning with all aspects of that past in the current context. A historical omission of the black experience in Kentucky cannot change what happened in the past. Kentuckians of all ages deserve a full, free, and open exchange about the history still shaping our world today. This exchange should take place inside the classroom and in the public realm. Discouraging those discussions deprives Kentucky students of crucial tools necessary for citizenship in the 21st century.
The work of the Association is to equip educators to teach a nuanced view of history so that students can learn, grow, and face the issues of the day in their appropriate historical context. Further, educators require tools to help them navigate teaching these complex concepts in a way that ensures the full participation of all students at a developmentally appropriate level. The Association seeks to provide teachers at the primary, secondary, and higher education levels with academic lessons, presentations, and tools to present black Kentuckians’ full, diverse, and multi-faceted experience.