History Department to offer New AP African American Studies Course

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Carolyn Taveras

History books that teach about the Black experience.

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Pace was chosen as one of the 800 high schools in the nation to adopt the AP African American course for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.

U.S. history teacher Mrs. McBride has shown an avid interest in the course and will most likely be its instructor.
In 2021, College Board announced the release of the new AP African American studies course. The class will be meaningful for thousands of Black students whose history is simply not correctly displayed in classrooms across the United States.

Passionate about educating students on accurate and unfiltered history, Mrs. McBride believes that African American history is “often neglected” in U.S. classrooms, hence the need for not only highlighting “the struggles of African Americans, but their progress and their contributions to America as a whole,” Mrs. McBride said. ”When people think about African American history they only think about slavery or the civil rights movements.”

According to College Board, the class will be the most rigorous and meticulous course in its field of study, with “more students than ever before” deepening their knowledge in African American studies.

Grismeidi Romano, junior, says that adding the AP course to Pace’s curriculum would steer its students away from making ignorant remarks and would increase their level of respect for others. “They would actually know about Black history […] people would become more aware and know what’s actually happening so it doesn’t repeat.”

Many students think that the course would decrease levels of prejudice and discrimination within the younger generation.
This course makes sure to call attention to the favorable aspects of African American history. While highlighting the struggles that African Americans went through to be where they are today is important, their achievements and triumphs are just as significant. The class would change the way people in this country view the Black community and their history.

The course is divided into four units: Origins of the African Diaspora, Freedom Enslavement and Resistance, Practice of Freedom, and Movements and Debates. As reported by the College Board, the goal of the class is to inform students on the upbringing of Black culture through all of its economic, political, and social burdens.
Despite the course being a beacon of light for the African American community, some critics claim that it doesn’t add anything special to a school’s curriculum. Florida’s Department of Education is completely against the class being added to the state’s public schools and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, potential 2024 presidential candidate, is at the forefront of it all.

In 2022, DeSantis signed the “Stop WOKE Act” which places restrictions on what children are being taught in school. In response to the class potentially being launched very soon, Florida’s education department sent a letter to the College Board saying that the course “significantly lacks educational value.”
DeSantis and other state officials are actively pushing down already oppressed aspects of this country’s history.

For decades, Black people in this country have felt like their story and contributions to American society have been significantly looked down upon and hidden. Many U.S. textbooks and courses have been continuously filtering certain topics out of their curriculum in efforts of concealing true Black history.
Supporters of the AP African American studies claim the course would change not only the historical perspective of students at Pace, but the entire country.