Full Episode: Monday, February 8, 2021


Thanks for joining us with this country. Facing a racial reckoning a group of young people inspired by social justice and their diverse backgrounds hoping to change. What's taught in history class by themselves. Here's abc's deborah roberts. Some things from the social justice committee for the average high schooler. these days live is mostly abound. Good grades the latest tiktok and fitting in the wanted to look on some college courses to kind of go along with our african american studies course but for eighteen year old michaela also about making a difference. What do you want to reform in your educational experience. There's definitely a lack of education of african american history. You're out ours school system. The most you learn about africa history is during the month of february which is black history. Monday that it's limited to the civil rights movement and that's pretty much it. Unfortunately test for social justice erupted across the nation's last year. Many students space their own moment of racial reckoning in the classroom. Hey it's michaela. The other leaders of the african american culture club kayla in her classmates in new jersey change begins with a course correction in history. What specifically are you in the group asking for in the curriculum right now. Specifically we're asking for a mandatory african american studies course at the high school level last summer following the death of george floyd michaela in members of the african. American culture club formed the social justice committee. I thought isolated eventually. Those feelings of turned into action. The students organized juneteenth protests focused on education. Social media your black neighbors and friends to educate yourself you to take this kind of an activist approach. We were definitely inspired by the rising action across the nation. We just need voice in new flush for what we wanted. I'm honored to stand together with our students this afternoon. It was incredible what they were able to put together and they put this march together to stop the ignorance. Dr joseph malaj cherry hill native has been superintendent for six years as the adults. We have to make sure that we are physically there for them. And sometimes even if we are just standing alongside to make sure that they have the opportunity to speak if i can lend my voice my figure and my presence to that then. That certainly is my responsibility to do that. For now. booth highschools in cherry hill offer an african american studies course as an elective but the predominantly white school district may soon be the first in new jersey to make it a requirement. We have to teach it. We have to talk about it. History through the lens of white is or white. Americans cannot continue to be the dominant and singular peace through which we teach and again when we talk about folks of color it can't just be five or six individuals that children here about from elementary school through high school and needs to be all of our history. Black history is our history. I absolutely thought about. How could i help these students to bring with. They're asking us to life. The director of curriculum. Dr farah mahan recognizes the flaws in. Today's history courses. I think we have to move beyond courses. That really talk about how so. Many people of color were taken from their homes and from their countries and colonized and that we start to look at our curriculum not through a eurocentric perspective. But through a perspective that really highlighted black and brown excellence. She's been working closely with authors local professors and universities as well as students to design the potential course. What do our students know about my angelo and the significance behind malcolm x. Not just martin luther king. We are asking the students. tell us what. What part of history would you really like to see. Brought to life in this course that would be a huge change to make sure that all students not only had access to but that was part of their requirement just like any other requirements huge difference in how they see other people how they see themselves how they see their country and And that they have that sense of pride in us being so unique. In that way in fact some college students are expressing frustration with incomplete lessons in the high school. Classroom i was thinking stanford university sophomores. Jasmine win and caitlyn. Joe launched the campaign diversify our narrative in response to the black lives matter movement as well as their personal in high school growing up. It was a bit difficult to see that. I wasn't really represented in the classroom. And so i think it can be difficult. Not just for me as an asian american but honestly any person of color when they're growing up not really seeing yourself and your people portrayed in a manner that really reflects your rich cultural history and portrays you in a multidimensional way. We need to see diversity in education that represe created the student-led campaign organized with students across the country to help form new chapters within their very own districts to add different perspectives into our history and literature curriculums. Their original mission one book by and about a person of color in each school per grade level. We also have other chapters. That have started their own positions branching off that are actually advocating for things like the end of the school to prison pipeline and their respective district or getting police officers off campus. And so i think it originally started with this one book campaign but has now kind of sprawled into this much larger idea of like racial justice and educational equity on a larger level their campaign now reaching eight hundred school districts across the nation with more than five thousand organizers participating but with change often. There's pushback. I think a lot of the reason why there is backlash is a lot of people are uncomfortable when you try to change the status quo. Backlash is something this utah. School is familiar with the predominantly white charter. School is no longer allowing to opt their children out of black history month curriculum after coming under fire for initially giving families the option to do so the academy director mica hirokawa wrote on the schools facebook page. Yesterday we regret that after receiving request an opt out for him was set out concerning activities. Planned during this month of celebration ended this time. No families are opting out of our planned activities and we have removed this option. The fight to diversify lessons in the classroom has gone on for decades between nineteen sixty five in one thousand nine hundred ninety. Two hundreds thousands of black students from nearly a thousand schools and universities across the nation formed the black campus movement inspired by the black power movement demanding black studies progressive black universities and for diverse system of higher education. I think if we look throughout history it almost always comes from. The young people doesn't it. I think that in part is because they still still are so very idealistic and determined. That's why we have seen throughout history. Young people lead these movements back in cherry hill. A hopeful outcome is on the horizon. The vote to require the african american studies courses being to the school board later this month. If passed it could be mandatory for all cherry hill. High school students as early as this fall work is not just about next year. It's really about building our body of work and building a legacy for students. The only way that society has grown throughout the last few thousand years as the communities come together and support one another. This is not an individual endeavor and hoping for younger generations to have better experiences than us. Our thanks to deborah and coming up counting down to the start of an historic senate impeachments. Pro-trump insurrectionist storm the halls of congress. Last month now the us capital will be the site of another historic day tomorrow. The commencement of the second senate impeachment trial of former president. Donald j trump. It's been nearly three weeks since. President trump boarded marine one and left the white house for the last time. But this week the former president will be the headliner in dc once again as the senate launches his history-making second impeachment trial accused of incitement of insurrection. After his supporters violently stormed accountable on january six. They will be having this trial in the very same chamber that we saw violent mob storm a month ago with five people dead and more than one hundred reportedly injured house impeachment manager serving as the prosecutors will be leaning on videos like these from that day to argue that trump's own words show he bears unmistakable responsibility for the madness that unfolded fight. Like hell. and if you don't fight like hell you're not gonna have country anymore. They're going to try and tell a story and it's not just going to be about january the six. I think they're gonna start from before the election when the president sort of warm people up to the possibility of fraud etc and it increasingly becomes more aggressive as time goes on in a brief filed. Today the former president's defense team says his talk was political speech protected by the first amendment and ten thousand words spoken. Mr trump used the word fight a little more than a handful of times. They are calling the trial an act of political theater. A recent abc news ipsos poll found that a narrow majority of americans support convicting the former president and barring him from holding federal office again trump has denied the allegations through his lawyers and his called the impeachment trial unconstitutional forty-five republican sender sided with mr trump last month. Calling his trial unconstitutional. Because he's no longer in office. The senate voted on the motion to dismiss the trial but they lost the notion that this entire proceeding is unconstitutional. A bit of a long shot. It's not frivolous but it's in a court of law would likely be losing our in recent weeks. Many high profile. Republicans have called the trial counterproductive. Like senator marco rubio on fox news. We already have flaming fire in this country. And it's like taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire. The republican party is having this internal struggle within their party because they are looking at the seventy plus million people who voted for former president donald trump and they know that in order to win back the house in order to win back the senate. They're to need that base yet. There's a small but growing number of republican lawmakers who are arguing that their party needs to be done with trump. once and for all like senator. Ben sasse on meet the press. Politics isn't about the weird worship of one dude and on fox news representative liz cheney. Who broke with her party and voted to impeach trump in the house. Also distancing herself that is a person who does not have a role as the leader of our party going forward. Trump's lawyers plan to argue that when trump used the word fight in that speech he made on january sixth. Don't fight like hell. You're not going to have a country anymore. He meant it figuratively. You can make an argument that other people have used language like fight like hell and what they meant is finding the courts and fight in the political arena. That fight doesn't necessarily mean violence and that's true and that's why it's going to be so important for the house managers to present but that was just one piece of the story and you're sitting at the capitol and telling people that they're election was stolen from that and then using the words fight like hell now it becomes a much more potentially inflammatory comments then looking at it in avec prosecutors will be laying out their case to their colleagues in the senate who are serving as the jury many of whom witnessed the events of january sixth firsthand reporting live outside of the capitol on january six watching witnessing firsthand hand when violent mobs stormed the building from all sides it was absolute chaos in this video from the new yorker. The mob is seen roaming the halls searching for party leaders. Some on the video say they were there. On the president's order flow we talked to a few of trump's supporters. Who told us that. They felt like they were following. The president's lead nearly two hundred insurrectionists have been charged since the attack including the so called cunanan shaman jacobs chancellor whose lawyer argues trump incited his client's actions. He walked down constitution avenue and entered the capital. He was there at the invitation of and replenished of our president of the one hundred eighty two accused rioters facing federal charges for their involvement the capital. Abc news has identified more than a dozen who have said they were just doing what. President trump wanted them to do jenna ryan of texas said exactly that to the local station k. Tv t. i thought. I was following my president. I thought i was following what we were called to do. How did president. Trump's lawyers get around the videos and the statements of the rioters themselves. I'm basically implicating president trump in inspiring them. I think president trump's lawyers. We're gonna say we didn't tell those idiots to go commit crimes. I think they're going to want to distance themselves as much as possible. And the people who committed violence though both democrats and republicans are bitterly divided in their views on the impeachment. There is one thing they do seem to agree on. That is the need for a quick and speedy trial. Democrats want to get this over with quickly so they can start moving forward with president. Joe biden's agenda and then you have republicans they're also trying to focus on the future and both sides can only do that after they close this chapter. Finally tonight serving tradition and attribute. Here's abc's janai. Norman in the heart of houston is lucille's enjoy the soul of the williams family legacy souls my great grandmother. We named the restaurant after her. She's a chef. And a pioneer that created the first instant hot roll mixing the country and also set up the first commercial culinary educational program in the country through prayer university. Her products were featured on american airlines for their first class passengers. The amazing roster of clients. Everybody from martin luther king eleanor roosevelt. To joe louis and at the heart of lucille's is owner and chef. Chris williams the man behind the restaurants food paying homage to the matriarch. When the pandemic i hit williams wanted to help we served over three thousand first responders in healthcare workers since then he's helped create lucille's nineteen thirteen a not to ear his great-grandmother launched her catering business. It's a community collective involving a network of farms markets and kitchens that hopes to combat food insecurity and create employment opportunities. The migrate grandmother. Could see what we're doing today. Seriously be nothing but happy force. Thanks to geneva and to our friends at our abc houston station ktar k. As well as our abc localish friends for first high leading this story. Nightline we'll see right back here at the same time tomorrow. Thanks for staying up with us. Good night america.

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