A professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta is to guide students through a course in which Black history is taught entirely through the metaverse.
During class, students will don virtual reality headsets to see first-hand the reality of enslaved Africans lying in chains on top of one another in a slave ship and see an enslaved person standing on the edge of the vessel, facing the harrowing choice between life in bondage or freedom in death.
Partnering with the VR tech company VictoryXR, students will be able to experience what it was like attending Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, or see the Little Rock Nine as they entered an all-white high school in Arkansas in 1957. They can also tour a slave ship.
The new course, titled “History of the African Diaspora Since 1800,” falls under the Virtual Reality Project, and will start from the Haitian Revolution leading up to the civil rights movement.
It will recreate important moments and artifacts in Black history, including La Amistad slave ship, the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta (where King preached), and battlefields where students can see Black soldiers during the Civil War and World War I.
Morehouse College offers 10 courses in the metaverse in topics across departments of journalism, English, biology, sociology and more. Since its launch, almost 500 students have taken classes under the program, with over 170 students enrolled in the current fall semester.
Aside from taking courses in the metaverse, students also participate in hands-on training to develop real-time 3D worlds through creation tools Unity and Unreal Engine.