Maryland Congressman Kweisi Mfume has introduced the National Council on African American History and Culture Act of 2023 in the United States House of Representatives.
The legislation would establish a 12-person National Council on African American History and Culture that would advise The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) on how to best promote the works of Black creators, improve school curriculum to ensure that Black history and culture are recognized and allocate vital funds for the preservation of it.
Mfume’s efforts are meant to counter those that have moved to restrict teachings on subjects such as race and African American history in schools across the country.
“We must ensure that Black history is told fully and accurately in America. While the truth of our journey may not be the easiest to tell, it should be protected and celebrated because the story of African American people is intricate and integral to the story of the United States of America – that history must be treated and admired as such,” Congressman Mfume who represents Maryland’s 7th district said in a release shared with ESSENCE.
“This bill pushes back against the attacks on African American history in our schools and communities,” he added.
Senator Ben Cardin is co-sponsoring this effort in Congress and introduced the legislation’s companion bill in the Senate.
“I am proud to partner with Congressman Mfume to advance the creation of a National Council on African American History and Culture. The time has come to ensure that every future generation has a factual and complete understanding of the role African Americans have played in advancing our society, and this legislation moves us in the right direction,” Senator Cardin said in a statement.
The council will monitor the work of museums and organizations and make national policy recommendations to foster and promote the understanding and preservation of African American history, among other tasks.
In addition, Mfume says the council will also be tasked with preparing an annual report which will evaluate the programs of the NEH to document the extent to which they are contributing to the preservation and celebration of Black history and culture.