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Organizations in Normal hold rally demanding black education

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NORMAL (WEEK) - Normal West Black Student Union and The Next Gen Initiative held a rally Wednesday night demanding an increase in black education.

Those at the rally are calling for black literature, history, and culture to be taught in public schools in McLean County.

The Normal West Black Student Union was created in May 2019. The Next Gen Initiative is a Bloomington-Normal, Illinois based movement.

"I can't help but think about where I'd be today if I read books or heard lessons or had discussions on other firsts beyond just Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King," said Bloomington High School Teacher and Normal resident,

The Black Student Union of Normal West High School, along with the Next Gen Initiative, are pushing for black education because they feel if students of all races learn how African Americans have contributed to society, they will have more appreciation.

"It would give them a reason to not believe the stereotypes and myths about black people," said President of Black Student Union, Jasmyn Jordan.

Jordan says it would also benefit black students, giving them someone to look up to in history.

Students say they want to see a change, as they've experienced a lack of black education themselves.

"I've seen first hand a lot of education that gets taught in our public schools. It's very white washed," said Normal West graduate, Gavin Cunningham.

Jordan says she has taken steps to implement black education, having had talks with both the principal and superintendent of Normal West.

"We're talking about either having a new required class, or updating current curriculum that we have," said Jordan.

"Putting pressure on our school board. They can make decisions like that. They can say this needs to be taught and this doesn't need to be taught.. We can talk more about black american history," said Cunningham.

The organizations plan to hold more rallies until change is made.

Gabi Guerrero

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