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Sat Jan 28, 2023, 04:24 PM

AP African American Studies: 'Academic legitimacy' or 'indoctrination'?

Last week, when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis explained his rejection of a proposed Advanced Placement African American Studies class, I thought about the small number of Black students enrolled in AP courses. A 2020 report by The Education Trust pegged it at 9%, despite counting 15% of high school students nationwide as Black.

I was one of those few Black students 20 years ago. More often than not, I was the only African American kid in my class, the social ramifications of which I didn’t fully understand until I attended a historically Black university years later. I can only imagine how many more Black classmates I might have had in an AP course if the curriculum presented had been relatable to students of African descent.

Fortunately, I didn’t solely rely on the public school system for an understanding of Black history. I still have a box of BlacFax, a Trivial Pursuit-style game that my parents bought for my younger brother and me when we were kids, with the intent of teaching us about popular African American facts along with less conventional anecdotes. I didn’t fully understand the ramifications of this either, until I became much older and gained a profound appreciation for the intricacies of Carter G. Woodson’s view of Black history.

“We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history,” he said in 1927, a year after starting Negro History Week.



Please read the whole thing. This is a good editorial.

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Reply AP African American Studies: 'Academic legitimacy' or 'indoctrination'? (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jan 28 OP
brush Jan 28 #1
live love laugh Jan 28 #2
Igel Jan 28 #3
brush Jan 28 #4

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Jan 28, 2023, 04:30 PM

1. Is that question ever asked about the AP courses on...

other ethnic groups?


Seriously, the OP headline is kind of off-putting.

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Response to brush (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 28, 2023, 04:50 PM

2. THIS ☝🏾☝🏾

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Response to brush (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 28, 2023, 07:46 PM

3. There are language and culture courses.

They focus on language and the culture "in country", whether Japanese or French.

I've administered the AP Spanish tests and listened as the students are exposed to a wide variety of dialect pronunciations and questions/etc. about cultures from Spain through Argentina and Cuba. The literature test spans the entire Spanish-speaking world.

There's European history, but saying that it's no more important than Nigerian or Vietnamese history for the last 800 years is disingenuous. Not for Nigerians or Vietnamese citizens. (Although I think that argument could be made--the kingdoms in those areas as well as the economy and educational systems were influenced by Europe in a truly asymmetrical way and any Vietnamese or Nigerian history course would need to have a large section devoted to outside influence, imperialism, and colonialism--then post-colonial influences.)

AP EH's topics (you can find the CED, course and exam description, on line if you want to know more; it's the AP Af-Am Studies CED that was leaked and published when it wasn't officially released):

Study the cultural, economic, political, and social developments that have shaped Europe from c. 1450 to the present. You’ll analyze texts, visual sources, and other historical evidence and write essays expressing historical arguments.

Course Content
Unit 1: Renaissance and Exploration
Unit 2: Age of Reformation
Unit 3: Absolutism and Constitutionalism
Unit 4: Scientific, Philosophical, and Political Developments
Unit 5: Conflict, Crisis, and Reaction in the Late 18th Century
Unit 6: Industrialization and Its Effects
Unit 7: 19th-Century Perspectives and Political Developments
Unit 8: 20th-Century Global Conflicts
Unit 9: Cold War and Contemporary Europe

Haven't taught it, but I know who does at my high school and I've subbed in her classroom more than a few times (since the entrance to her room is maybe 30 feet from mine and we're close acquaintances or workplace 'friends'). It has a fairly critical attitude towards European actions and attitudes throughout the history covered.

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 28, 2023, 08:01 PM

4. Thank you. I'm still upset at DeSantis' contention that...

African American studies have no education value and thus should be discontinued.

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