New York City Public Schools Unveils “Hidden Voices: Stories Of The Global African Diaspora”

March 1, 2024

Schools Chancellor David C. Banks yesterday at a historic Black History Month celebration unveiled Volume 1 of Hidden Voices: Stories of the Global African Diaspora. 

This groundbreaking curriculum, a collaboration between multiple educational and cultural institutions, esteemed scholars, and experts, offers a set of curricular resources that offers an in-depth exploration of the African diaspora’s influence on global and United Sates history.

“This was a very historic day as we announce Hidden Voices: Stories of the Global African Diaspora history curriculum. For all these years – all the struggles, all the protests – we had no Black history curriculum in New York City Public Schools. To me, that’s unconscionable and completely unacceptable,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “Everybody needs to know about the contributions that Black people have made in this nation and to the world. When we raise the consciousness of people by education them, then they don’t see other folks as the other.”

The lessons in Volume 1 include:

  • Africans in Ancient Worlds
  • A Sovereign Africa (into the 17th century)
  • An African Diaspora in the Making (15th-19th centuries)
  • Slavery and Resistance

The curriculum is tailored for specific grade levels, with lessons designed to engage students in age-appropriate discussions and analyses.

Additionally, NYCPS staff collaborated with scholars to create a series of new comic books, including Jali: Literature of Africa and the Diaspora, a comic book adapted from a short story by Haddis Alemayehu. Hard copies of this, along with a series of newly created posters will be given to all public schools across the city, and all materials will be available for free digital download for any educator in the world at

The publication of Hidden Voices: Stories of the Global African Diaspora is a highly significant development in the ever-evolving determination to improve and enhance the education of our young people,” said Michael A. Gomez, Silver Professor of History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Director, Center for the Study of Africa and the African Diaspora (CSAAD), New York University. “Written by leading scholars of the day, the articles comprising Hidden Voices explore in some depth the lives of African-descended persons in both Africa and its diaspora, ranging in notoriety, who individually and collectively made signal contributions to history. This exploration is highly interactive, providing teachers with innovative tools by which they may lead students in further researching the persons and circumstances featured. Students will undoubtedly benefit from these accounts, as they bear a direct relationship to their own diverse communities and experiences. Hidden Voices is a wonderful achievement.”

“We are all the beneficiaries of the innovations, creativity, and work of Africans and people of African descent. That is, one cannot understand the making of the modern world without an understanding of the history of Africa and the global African Diaspora,” said Omar H. Ali, PhD, Professor of History and Dean, Lloyd International Honors College, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. “Through a range of inspiring biographies, textured primary sources, and thought-provoking questions, Hidden Voices brings to life the ways in which Black people since antiquity have made the world we are in and of which we – each and every one of us – are an inextricable part.”

“At a time when many school districts and states are intent on hiding the complex history of people of African descent in the US and around the world, this project is intent on putting in front of students the experiences of Black communities, the contributions of Black individuals, and all of the complexities connect these pasts to our difficult, painful, but also hopeful present,” said Trevor Getz, Professor of African and World History, Department Chair Secondary Education, San Francisco State University, President, World History Association.“ It’s a project that reaffirms our collective humanity through the study of the creativity, production, achievement, and struggles of an often silenced community.”


The lead scholar was Michael A. Gomez, New York University.

Contributing scholars are: 

  • Omar Ali, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Solange Ashby, Barnard College
  • Lissette Acosta Corniel, Assistant Professor, Department of Race and Ethnic Studies, BMCC  
  • Sharika Crawford, US Naval Academy
  • Trevor Getz, San Francisco State University
  • Walter Greason, Macalester College
  • Rebecca Hall, Independent Scholar
  • Kwasi Konadu, Colgate University
  • Michael Long, Independent Scholar
  • Tyesha Maddox, Fordham University
  • Allyson Schettino, New-York Historical Society
  • Robyn C. Spencer-Antoine, Lehman College
  • Ben Talton, Howard University
  • Leo Velloso-Lyons, Cornell University 
  • Yohuru Williams, University of St. Thomas

The live stream can be found here.

The curricular resources can be found here.

The Hidden Voices

The Hidden Voices initiative was started in direct response to feedback we received from educators who wanted support in embedding content into their lessons that reflects the cultures and diversity in their classrooms. The Hidden Voices guides are designed to align with Passport to Social Studies, the curriculum designed by NYC Public Schools and used in more than 90 percent of schools citywide. Each profile in Hidden Voices includes focus questions to help teachers think about how the profile can be used when teaching different aspects of the curriculum, as well as guidance for relevant grades, units, and lesson plans within Passport.

Photo credit: Schools Chancellor David C. Banks.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Harlem World Magazine, 2521 1/2 west 42nd street, Los Angeles, CA, 90008, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
We're your source for local coverage, we count on your support. SUPPORT US!
Your support is crucial in maintaining a healthy democracy and quality journalism. With your contribution, we can continue to provide engaging news and free access to all.
accepted credit cards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles