Council wants Howard Zinn to be required reading for Philly students

city councilman jim kenney
City Councilman Jim Kenney.
Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro

City Council on Thursday passed a resolution calling on the School District of Philadelphia to make Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” a required part of the high school U.S. history curriculum.

“Throughout our educational experience, most of us have received a varnished version of American history, replete with the activities and accomplishments of basically white males, Anglo-Saxon Protestants,” legislation sponsor Councilman Jim Kenney said.

“As I age in life and read more and more, I’ve become more exposed to folks who are never mentioned in our history books – the Arawak Indians in the Caribbean, the Creeks, the Seminoles, the Cherokees, blacks, African slaves, those women who were denied the right to vote up until the 19th century.

“I think it’s very important, in addition to the Ben Franklins and George Washingtons of the world, that we hear about and read about and allow our own children to read about different cultures and understand struggles they’ve gone through.”

Kenney read an excerpt from Zinn’s book detailing some of the oft-overlooked historical figures it covers.

“I just want our own children – in high school, generally, which is where I think this book belongs – to understand there is another history of the United States, another history of Philadelphia and another history of Pennsylvania that has intentionally been removed from our consciousness and needs to be put back, and I think this book is the best way to do that,” Kenney finished.

Though the measure passed City Council unanimously, Councilman David Oh did raise a slight “note of caution.”

“While I believe we should make these good suggestions, I’d like to clarify, at the end of the day, it’s a suggestion to the curriculum, [which is created by] experts in the school district,” he said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…