December 7, 2023
The College Board’s latest updates seek to provide a more holistic approach to learning of Black history in America.
The College Board has announced its revised curriculum for the Advanced Placement (AP) African-American Studies course, set to be enacted during the 2024 academic year. The controversial class will expand on topics such as housing discrimination and the Tulsa Race massacre.
The revised course will also detail the history of Black Americans in the entertainment and sports industries, creating a more comprehensive look at the plight and triumphs of Black people. According to The Associated Press, the change is more inclusive, following criticism regarding the company’s initial compromise with conservative lawmakers’ demands.
After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis threatened to ban the course’s inclusion in statewide public schools, the College Board began removing certain political topics, such as Black Lives Matter and reparations for slavery, from the course’s final exam. In a move assumed to be a correction from this act, the College Board’s latest updates seek to provide a more holistic approach to learning of Black history in America.
While the new revisions will include written feminist works, including a unit on “The Black Feminist Movement, Womanism, and Intersectionality,” other writings that were removed from the course have returned as well, but solely as an optional resource. Among the provocative writers returning to the curriculum are Amiri Baraka, bell hooks, and Audre Lorde. As for who informed the revisions, educators played a major role in developing the framework.
“The updates are based on teacher recommendations, and changes coincide with the latest scholarship and resources used at the collegiate level,” shared Nelva Williamson, one of the framework authors.
Since the new framework was unveiled, The College Board has stated its commitment to providing a factual account of the Black American experience to students, sharing that the content “represents more than three years of rigorous development by nearly 300 African American Studies scholars, high school AP teachers, and experts within the AP Program.”
While states are still fighting what “racially charged” topics are taught to public school students, the new course will be available across the U.S. for schools to offer if they choose.
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