This Petition Is Calling For High Schools To Introduce AP Courses On Black History And African Civilization
A failure to provide these essential teachings to students could possibly have long-term consequences.
June 23, 2020 at 10:07 am
Many current and former Black students within the U.S. have come to realize they have not had the most well-rounded syllabi when it comes to Black history, and a new petition aims to address that.
The Change.org petition, from the AP for All initiative and addressed to the College Board, is calling for high schools to develop lesson plans focused on Black history and African civilization. Created on Juneteenth, it has garnered nearly 7,000 signatures as of press time.
"We stand in solidarity for the demand of College Board to respectfully honor Black culture and accurately depict the experience of Black people across the diaspora through a culturally responsive framework in the form of two (2) new AP courses: AP African Civilizations and AP African American History written by a committee of experts, inclusive of Black educators, with the knowledge and passion for these subjects," a portion of the petition reads.
AP For All is a product of New York City's Equity and Excellence For All agenda and seeks to implement more Advanced Placement courses within schools.
The first course, AP African Civilizations, will "provide an understanding of the African experience throughout history with a general overview of centers of African Civilization from antiquity through contemporary times."
Organizers said that with the second seminar, AP African American History, students will "learn the vast history that begins with the rich legacy of African Kingdoms, the Atlantic Slave Trade, resistance and triumph in America, to the onward movement of resilience in today's Civil Rights era."
While there are plenty of studies geared toward an understanding of French, German, Italian and Chinese languages and culture, AP For All, the creators of this campaign, argued that Black scholars with African roots are not being taught about their history and influence in the classroom. A failure to provide these essential teachings to students could possibly have long-term consequences, such as lack of preparedness when they eventually enroll in undergraduate studies.
A January 2020 report from The Education Trust showed that during the 2015-2016 school year, Black students made up approximately 15% of high school students nationwide, but only 9% of those Black students were registered in AP courses. Currently, just eight states and the District of Columbia require their schools to provide AP coursework. Should this initiative pass, more Black students nationwide will have a beneficial incentive to sign up for these classes.
The petition comes as global protests over the killing of George Floyd have spurred countless calls for reform within and outside of the justice system.
You can sign the petition here.