College Board offers AP African American studies course


Killian Johnson

AP African American studies in a new course by the College Board.

College Board has developed an AP African American studies course, which is now being piloted across select schools. The course provides students with an introduction to the experience of Black Americans. This is done through the study of creative arts, political sciences, and human geography.


An event was held on Feb. 2 at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, there was a panel discussion with professors who created the curriculum and founded the framework. According to College Board, AP African American studies is an interdisciplinary course that draws from a variety of fields: history, literature, geography, the arts, and science. 


“An unflinching look at the facts and evidence of the African American experience,” The CEO of the College Board David Coleman said. 


In a news release from College Board Professors, these topics are based on a strong consensus on the essential experiences and individuals significant to the study of African American culture. 


AP African American studies will be available to students in 2025. Yet, not all schools are willing to include the course in their curriculum. According to Education Week, Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis announced his intentions to prohibit Florida schools from offering AP African American studies, due to its violation of the “stop W.O.K.E. act.” The Stop Woke Act is an Acronym for “Wrong for Our Kids and Employees” and prevents primary and secondary schools from teaching critical race theory.


Due to people like DeSantis, revisions were made throughout the curriculum. Andi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers expressed that “too often politics interferes with education. Despite this rewrite, we maintain our conviction that AP African American Studies should be available to every high school student nationwide.”


With that hope in mind, 35 percent of students surveyed across District 204 reported they were “Interested or Very Interested” in AP African American Studies according to social studies chair Donald Pankuch.


“I would like to take AP African American Studies if there is room in my schedule. It would be interesting to learn about a different culture and experiences,” sophomore Zahara Juma explains.


Due to the percentage of interest, AP European History and American Government teacher Susan Fuhrer explained that the class could ¨draw students away from other AP classes such as AP European History, AP World, and AP Psychology. So it would be somewhat of another alternative for AP students, but hopefully, it will draw new students that want to try taking AP classes.¨


“I think we should have [AP African American Studies],” said Fuhrer. “We need to make sure that we are teaching history from our perspective or teaching history to everyone, not just certain groups. It would be a great addition to our social studies courses.”


While this class will not replace any of the current classes offered at Metea, it can give more options for students in a new area of Social Studies.