NABC committee calls for mandatory black history education

Some of America's top college basketball coaches want high school and college students to learn more about black history before they graduate.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches' Committee on Racial Reconciliation, which was formed after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis last month, proposed a measure that would require all students at secondary and higher education institutions to take a course on African-American history or a related topic before they receive their diplomas.

They're asking the officials at America's schools and colleges to adopt their proposal.

"Throughout our committee's initial discussions, an immediate observation was the overall lack of awareness of the history and issues facing the African-American community," NABC committee co-chairs Frank Martin and Tommy Amaker said in a joint statement on Monday. "If our country is indeed going to make the necessary strides towards combating racism and injustice, the topic must become a core component of every American's educational experience."

Earlier this month, multiple coaches spoke about racism in America in a virtual conference organized by the NABC.

Then, Martin recalled being stopped by police on his way to a basketball camp when he was a young coach. He said the officer made fun of his first name (Francisco) and said he was one of "those banana boat guys." Martin said he'd wished he had done more to highlight injustice after that incident.

"We have to make sure we never stop paying attention to it," Martin said then. "This can't be every four or five years. I want to make sure that we don't let these conversations disappear."

Added Kelvin Sampson during that virtual conference: "We can't run from that conversation. ... Racism is real, man."