Rally held to get Asian American history taught in New York State classrooms

Originally published in ABC Ch.7

BAYSIDE, Queens (WABC) -- There was a push on Friday in Queens to get Asian American history taught in classrooms all across New York State.

Headlining the rally in Bayside was Reverend Jesse Jackson. It was a call to build a coalition between the Asian American and the Black communities.

"The bill must be signed. We must fight ignorance, hatred, fear, and violence. One leads to the other," said Jackson.

Legislation introduced by State Senator John Liu would mandate Asian American history as part of school curriculum.

"There are opponents who think that there should not be this kind of legislative requirement. There are even people who liken this to critical race theory," Liu said.

"The declining social conditions that is the root of the violence and hatred that pits communities of color like Asians and Blacks against each other. The system in front of us, they want us to fight. They want us to hate each other. They want us to be pitted against each other. And it is us, the next generation, to fight through that," added State Assemblyman Ron Kim.

Eyewitness News sat down one-on-one with Governor Kathy Hocul in May and asked her to weigh in. When asked if she would support a bill that would mandate teaching Asian American history in New York public schools, Hochul said 'absolutely.'

Earlier in the year, Eyewitness News also sat down with Mayor Eric Adams.

"I spoke with John Liu - I think he's right," said Adams.

Adams announced in May that New York City public schools will teach AAPI history this fall.