East Orange School District
Six students pose together

New Jersey Amistad Curriculum

About the Amistad Commission:

Public Law 2002, Chapter 75, enacted August 27, 2002, amended by Public Law 2004, Chapter 94 enacted July 9, 2004 (NJ Rev Stat § 52:16A-87-89 (2013)), directs all New Jersey schools to incorporate African-American history into their social studies curriculum. Introduced and sponsored by Assemblymen William D. Payne and Craig A. Stanley, the legislation Assembly Bill A1301 and the identical Senate bill S1004, sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner, establishes the Amistad Commission to coordinate educational and other programs on slavery and African-American history is the result of a multiyear effort by Assemblyman Payne to:

  • Educate the citizens and students of New Jersey about the historical events associated with the African slave trade, slavery in America, the vestiges of slavery in this country and the contributions of African-Americans in overcoming these obstacles to contribute to the development of this country… [and for] every board of education to incorporate the instruction in an appropriate place in the curriculum of elementary and secondary school students.

Hence, the Amistad Commission collaborates with the New Jersey Department of Education and with New Jersey district, charter, renaissance, and nonpublic schools to assist their efforts in identifying and evaluating curriculum materials and textbooks, which integrate and infuse the history and contributions of African-American history, slavery in America, the vestiges of slavery, and the contributions of African Americans. As such, the Commission’s primary goals include but are not limited to helping educators to:

  • Infuse the history of Africans and African-Americans into the curriculum in order to provide an accurate, complete, and inclusive history by through professional development and in-service workshops, and residential summer institutes; evaluate appropriate use of primary and secondary resources;
  • Create curriculum materials that help them to teach effectively content aligned to the revised social studies core curriculum content standards and the New Jersey Student Learning Standards;
  • Assist in developing lesson plans in accordance to subject area using the Amistad Web-based Curriculum Resource; and
  • Have an awareness of the importance of the history of African-Americans to the growth and development of American society in global context

Amistad Components for Primary Grades

Amistad Interactive Web-based Curriculum

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