Recently, Gov. McKee signed into law a bill that requires Rhode Island’s public schools to teach Black Heritage and history curriculum that was developed over seven years by the Black Heritage Society, Rhode Island College, and the Rhode Island Historical Society. 

Keith Stokes

Keith Stokes, vice president of the Black Heritage Society, and a key figure in developing the curriculum, joined WhatsUpNewp for a live virtual video conversation to discuss the curriculum and its importance for all Rhode Island students.

“It took 400 years to get here,” Stokes said upon McKee’s signing the legislation into law.

The curriculum will explore the early years of enslavement, the roles that Black Rhode Islanders played in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Reconstruction, the great migration north and onward.

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Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.