The Ivy Coach Daily

September 1, 2022

AP African American Studies

The College Board will be rolling out AP African American Studies in a pilot program, reports The New York Times.

There will be a new Advanced Placement course offered in the fall — albeit at only 60 high schools. The course, AP African American Studies, will be piloted at these high schools to determine if they wish to roll it out with all of their other course offerings in the future. Writes College Board of the course, “Students in African American studies look at the history, politics, culture, and economics of North American people of African descent. From the slave economy to the civil rights movement, and from the blues to hip-hop, African Americans have had a huge role in shaping American society and culture. If you major in African American studies, you’ll learn about their achievements. You’ll also examine the hardships African Americans faced during their history. Further, you’ll dive into the difficult issues, such as unequal educational opportunities, they deal with today. Scholars in African American studies play a key role in the development of modern academics. By focusing on people and viewpoints that have been ignored in other fields, they lead they way in integrating minority experiences into all academic subjects.”

In a piece for The New York Times entitled “The First A.P. African American Studies Class Is Coming This Fall,” education beat reporter Anemona Hartocollis writes, “The plan for an Advanced Placement course is a significant step in acknowledging the field of African American studies, more than 50 years after what has been credited as the first Black studies department was started after a student strike at San Francisco State College in 1968, said Henry Louis Gates Jr., a former chair of Harvard’s department of African and African American studies and director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.”

If all goes to plan, the AP course, which has been in development for decades at The College Board, could be available to all high schools as soon as the 2024-2025 academic year. In the meantime, students at the 60 high schools who take the course this year as part of College Board’s pilot program will take an exam but it will not be scored and students will not receive college credits. Hey, isn’t it fun to just sit for an exam and not even get a score? Some people like to ride waves, others play chess, and still others sit for exams that don’t even get scored. Who’s to judge what’s fun?

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