By Stacy M. Brown | NNPA Newswire
(NNPA) – Earlier this year, about five dozen educators attended a four-day seminar at Howard University to discuss course design and teaching best practices.
During the summit, Howard officials maintained their desire to attract Black and Hispanic high school teachers to an Advanced Placement Summer Institute that would help increase diversity among AP teachers.
And with school districts across the country under heavy scrutiny, with laws forbidding teaching students anything about black history or anything that would supposedly make conservative white America uncomfortable, some have refused to back down.
Now 60 schools across the country have agreed to participate in a pilot program for AP African American Studies.
On Monday, October 24, Brooklyn Preparatory High School in New York announced it had joined the fight.
With a large Black and Hispanic student body, Brooklyn Prep officials and students alike have expressed their enthusiasm.
“In a lot of our history classes, we learn about white history like Europeans, like colonization and a lot of things like that,” 17-year-old Amirah Riddick, one of the students who championed the class at Brooklyn Prep, told NBC- News in New York.
“It’s a game changer and I feel like we’re mostly Hispanic, mostly African American students, mostly Caribbean students, we’re not learning a lot about our cultures and how we’ve been successful. We learn more about how we were locked up in slavery and how we were treated.”
The AP African American Studies course would consist of an introduction to African American history made up of units spanning the 16th century to the present day.
Students can expect to learn the extensive history beginning with the rich legacy of African kingdoms, the Atlantic slave trade, resistance and triumph in America, through to the forward movement of resilience in today’s civil rights era.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, the AP program, which is overseen by the College Board, allows high school students to take college-level courses that might qualify for credits from higher education institutions. Around 70 percent of high schools in the United States offer at least one AP course.
“AP African American Studies is not CRT,” said historian Henry Louis. “Skip,” Gates told Time.
“It’s not the 1619 project. It is an established, rigorously tested academic approach to a vibrant field of study half a century old in American academia and, of course, much older in historically black colleges and universities.”