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HBCU Morehouse College is set to launch their first class teaching Black history using the metaverse.
According to reports by NBC News, the class, known as “History of the African Diaspora Since 1800,” will use virtual reality headsets through a partnership with VictoryXR. Influenced by the virtual reality experience “Journey for Civil Rights,” the course, led by Professor Ovell Hamilton, will depict monumental moments from the Haitian Revolution all the way to the civil rights movement.
Amongst the scenes that will be recreated by virtual reality for the students to experience and learn about are the battlegrounds during both the Civil War and World War I as well as the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the religious space in Atlanta in which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first shared his speeches.
“Young Black men and Black people in America for 20 generations were kept from becoming educated,” said Muhsinah Morris, the director of the college’s Virtual Reality Project and an assistant professor, per NBC News. “And the only thing that I think can overcome those 20 generations is having ownership and autonomy in a space that is technologically moving things forward.”
The news of the upcoming virtual reality curated African American studies class comes a year after the HBCU first shared that they’d be implementing the newer technology in their learning curriculums. Last year, in March, Morehouse College released an official press release announcing that they’ll be offering two classes in virtual reality.
As part of their trial to try out the effectiveness of virtual reality, the all-men, Atlanta-based HBCU offered both Biology 105 and History 112, a world history course taught by Dr. Hamilton.
“Higher ed must not be afraid to take remote learning to a more immersive and effective level,” said Dr. Hamilton in a statement at the time. “With this virtual reality campus, students will be able to travel back in time and stand on a Naval carrier or travel to places across the globe.”
The new upcoming class will further build on the success of these two classes. The course will also build on the foundation laid by Dr. Hamilton through “The Journey for Civil Rights.” Launched earlier this year, this class was taught by the professor separately from the university.
Now available for viewing on YouTube as a clip of what the project entails, the course revolved around simulations featuring historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, artwork and 3D simulations of pivotal historical moments in Black history.