Civil rights veteran Bob Woodson and charter school organizer Ian Rowe, both black thought leaders, have teamed up to launch a new high school curriculum project called "1776 Unites." The curriculum is intended as an inspirational telling of real-life accounts of black Americans who embraced the founding principles of the United States and prospered.
Woodson and Rowe say their objective is to combat the victimization culture that has become so prevalent in American society, particularly in communities of color.
"Let millions of young people know about these incredible stories, African-Americans past and present, innovative, inventive, who faced adversity, did not view themselves as victims, and chose pathways to be agents of their own uplift," Rowe said.
The curriculum is being released at a time when several school systems are adopting the controversial and historically disputed "1619 Project" from the New York Times, which Woodson described as teaching "that America should be defined as a racist society where all whites are culpable and guilty of having privilege and therefore should be punished and all blacks are victims that should be compensated."
Woodson called that a "corrosive" message, but stressed that "1776 Unites" is not meant to debunk or debate the "1619 Project," but merely offer an "inspirational alternative."
The first installment of "1776 Unites" has lessons for high school students, with K-8 installments to be released soon.