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The College Board releases AP African American Studies Framework

AP African American Studies
Posted at 1:29 AM, Feb 02, 2023

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The College Board just unveiled the framework for a new "Advanced Placement African American Studies" course Wednesday morning.

However, last week Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced they're blocking that course from being taught, saying, "we want education, not indoctrination."

The NAACP and Attorney Ben Crump are now both threatening to sue the state of Florida over the decision.

"My own culture of history which is a part of American history is being removed," said Colin Mitchell, President of the Florida State Conference NAACP Youth and College Division.

"So many people of color have died for us to have the rights that we have today," State Senator. "So we won't shut up, we won't quit, we won't go away."

Florida is far from the only state with policies like this. The Washington Post reported 13 states had put laws or directives in place governing how race can be taught in schools. Some creating systems to file complaints.

7 News reporter Sydni Eure broke down the new course framework and explained why one local educator said courses like this are essential to teaching your kids.

The college board says the 234-page documentspent nearly a year under development and includes the official course framework, project and exam overview for AP African American Studies.

Despite claims the course was tailored based on Florida's objections, the College Board says this landmark course was developed with guidance from more than 300 African American Studies professors from more than 200 colleges nationwide.

LaGarrett King, the Director of the University at Buffalo Center for K–12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education, said the opportunity to teach students about black history is privilege he doesn't take for granted.

"It's a blessing because many different places are really battling teaching about the subject," said King.

Some mixed reviews are sparking following the college board's AP Advanced Placement African American Studies framework's official release.

The New York Times claims the curriculum was stripped down in response to recent political influence saying:

"The College Board Strips Down Its A.P. Curriculum for African American Studies

The official course looks different from a previous draft: No more critical race theory, and the study of contemporary topics — like Black Lives Matter — is optional."

New York Times

However, the College Board denies this and encourages everyone to read the framework for themselves.

Co-chair of the committee of professors and teachers who developed the course, Dr. Robert Patterson, professor of African American Studies at Georgetown University said:

"The development of the AP African American studies course has been an on-going, iterative process that calls upon the expertise of teachers, professors, and experts who understand the key concepts, themes, and methodologies of African American Studies, and this refining process, which is a part of all AP courses, has operated independently from political pressure."
Dr. Robert Patterson

The College Board said the new framework is in fact, "an interdisciplinary course that draws from a variety of fields like history, literature, the arts, geography and science offering direct engagement with evidence and events from the contributions and experiences of African Americans."

The table of contents lists these four units which include origins of African Diaspora Freedom, Enslavement and Resistance, the Practice of Freedom and Movement and Debates.

"No one is excluded from this course: the black artists and inventors whose achievements have come to light; the Black women and men, including gay Americans, who played pivotal roles in the civil rights movement; and people of faith from all backgrounds who contributed to the antislavery and civil rights causes. everyone is seen."
CEO of the College Board, David Coleman

King said changes like these may help black history go beyond just one month a year.

"We have to stop focusing on history as a curriculum," said King. "We're not teaching history we're teaching citizens right we're teaching people that will be decision makers in the future."

7 News reached out to Buffalo Public Schools in an effort to learn if this course would be offered at any of our schools here at home but no one was available to comment Wednesday night,

You can read the entire framework here.