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For the first time ever, high school students will have the opportunity to take an Advanced Placement course in African American Studies.

The College Board introduced the pilot program earlier this year and will be implemented in 60 schools across the country for its inaugural run. However, it is unclear in which states the 60 schools are located.


The class will be interdisciplinary, meaning students won’t just learn history but also geography, literature, art, music, politics and film to provide a comprehensive view of the African American experience.

For some, like Florida State University Schools teacher Marlon Williams-Clark, that means posing questions like “What does it mean to be Black?” to his class, which consists of mainly Black and brown student.

The exercise “40 million ways to be Black” became an impassioned discussion with his students, culminating in a piece by renowned scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. that declared there is no one way to be Black.

For others, like Texas high school teacher Nelva Williamson, the program means the opportunity to delve deeper into the eras of Reconstruction and the Harlem Renaissance.


Williams-Clark said the addition of this course was a long time coming. Schools have consistently offered AP European History and AP World History, but adding AP African American Studies gave a level of “confirmation and legitimacy” to the subject, he said.

“The right time [for this class] was when Black students were first allowed to go to school, so this is well overdue,” said Williams-Clark. {snip}

And students have jumped at the chance to take the course.

Williamson said when the class was announced at Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, her classroom was so full it was standing-room only.


Meanwhile, Williams-Clark is already thinking of an assignment that incorporates modern works like the new Black Panther movie to ask his students to identify African cultural representation.

He’s also considering looking at songs like “Lift Every Voice and Sing” or others from the Civil Rights movement and analyzing the lyrics, conducting lessons on understanding Black feminism and dissecting movies like Sidney Poitier’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”


Some have argued that such a course could become a framework for educators to teach critical race theory, which posits that race and racism have been rooted in American law and institutions since slavery and Jim Crow.

Since early 2021, 137 educational gag order bills have been introduced in 36 states, according to the free speech group PEN America, limiting instruction on race and LGBT history in the U.S.

Both Florida and Texas have enacted laws limiting how race is taught in schools.

In March, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed FL H.B.7 into law, limiting lessons on topics like “white privilege.”

The law includes language stating that a person should not be instructed to “feel guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” because of their race, color, sex or national origin.

In Texas, Senate Bill 3 passed last December, instructing teachers to “not be compelled to discuss a widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs.”


The post AP African American Studies Will Be Offered for the First Time. Here’s What Students May Expect appeared first on American Renaissance.

This content was originally published here.