Get Out of the Way DeSantis, AP African American Studies is Coming

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Starting this school year, select students across the country will have the chance to delve deeply into Black history that goes far beyond what they were able to learn during the month of February. The College Board is developing a new Advanced Placement (AP) course in African American Studies. And it comes at a time when many states are looking to restrict how schools teach our children about race, and just about everything is labeled as critical race theory (CRT).

AP course give high school students an edge in college, making their applications stand out and giving them a chance to earn college credit before they arrive on campus. And this course, the first new AP offering since 2014will be rolling out starting this fall to nearly 60 schools across the country, with more to be added next year.

The College Board developed the course in close collaboration with HBCU professors and other experts, including Henry Louis Gates Jr., who believes the College Board is helping to give African American studies a little more credibility in the community. university. “Nothing is more dramatic than asking the College Board to launch an AP course in a subject area, which means ultimate acceptance and ultimate academic legitimacy,” Gates said. “AP African American Studies is not CRT. This is not the 1619 Project. It is a traditional academic approach, rigorously controlled, a dynamic field of study, half a century old in the American academy, and much older, of course, in historically black colleges and universities.

The course will be cover a lot of ground. In addition to African history, the AP African American Studies course will focus on slavery, Reconstruction, and the civil rights movement. It will also cover music, movies, and African-American culture.

Nearly 40 States have already passed legislation limiting how race is discussed in the classroom or are seriously considering ways to pass restrictions. This includes Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis is trying to make the case for his Stop the wake up act which, among other things, prohibits teaching that members of an ethnic group are inherently racist and should feel guilty for actions committed by others in the past (such as slavery).

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