SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina lawmakers are pushing to require state college students to learn about important American historical documents as a requirement to graduate.
Students attending public higher learning institutions will be required to take a 3 credit hour course to learn about the U.S. Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and Emancipation Proclamation. Students would also be required to read at least 5 essays from The Federalist Papers.
In the initial text of the Republican sponsored bill, lawmakers wanted students to pass a test at the end of the course that will serve as a means to examine the power of students’ loyalty to the United States.
Democrat lawmakers in the House opposed the test requirement but added that students must read one or more documents related to the African American Freedom Struggle.
This includes documents such as The Civil Rights Act, The Emancipation Proclamation, the history behind the 13th and 14th Amendment, Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802.
Abel Bartley, African American & Urban History professor at Clemson University said learning about historical African American documents in college will help South Carolinians acknowledge the role African Americans played in the founding of this country.
“I think it will force them to acknowledge some important truths and that is the fact that African Americans have played an important role in our society,” Bartley said, “The people who are standing around calling themselves patriots and other things like that are actually denying the people who were patriots.”
Once the bill is signed into law the requirement will go into effect for the 2021-2022 school year.