The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

Close the gAP

Ivan Liu ’25 informs the reader of a new AP course, and urges LM to include it in the curriculum to continue their mission of inclusivity.

Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies is one of the newest AP courses introduced by the official College Board. According to College Board, the new AP course “reaches into a variety of fields—literature, the arts and humanities, political science, geography, and science—to explore the vital contributions and experiences of African Americans.” During the 2022–2023 academic year, the course was piloted in sixty select high schools throughout the country. It will be made available to all students in the spring of 2025, but with the course comes many controversies.

Graphic by Annie Zhao ’24/Staff

The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has been in the news recently for his rejection of the new AP African American Studies. DeSantis accuses the course of imposing political indoctrination, stating that, “We believe in teaching kids facts and how to think, but we don’t believe they should have an agenda imposed on them.” The so-called “agenda” he is referring to relates to the news course including topics such as critical race theory and queer Black history. DeSantis has been well known in the past for rejecting any teachings of critical race theory in classrooms, so it comes as no surprise for him to address his concern for the new AP course. 

AP African American Studies will likely remain very controversial in the state of Florida, however, what would happen if this course were to be introduced in LMSD? LM currently offers courses called Voices in African American
Literature (VAAL) and Black Excellence, which can be taken in both the college prep or honors level. VAAL teaches students topics such as how literary characters and themes in African-American literary works are shaped by gender, race, and/or class experiences and expectations.”  Black Excellence is a social studies elective that investigates the history ofAfrican American politics, economics, and culture. Both classes show similarities with other courses designed by the College Board. 

Besides offering  courses designed to teach about African American literature, LM has made extensive efforts in increasing racial diversity in our school, starting from the creation of the CARE committee which was formed back in 1997. Some main objectives behind this committee are, “to support the needs of African-American students and help them achieve to their fullest potential” and “to uncover and address issues that pertains to race in education.” Additionally, LM offers clubs such as Black Student Union (BSU), which was created with the intent to unify the Black community at LM, to address the well-being of the community, to create a safer space for Black students, and engage in Diversity, Equity(DEI), and Inclusion issues that affect the Black community. 

Introducing the new AP African American Studies to LM would create more opportunities for Black students and others to learn about the history and culture of Black identities rooted in this country’s history. Oyindotun Okunade, a sophomore from Nigeria, explained “I think it would be a great addition to LM because this creates more understanding of African Americans in the United States.” Overall, adopting the course would give LM another opportunity to expandits efforts to be more inclusive.

The Merionite Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest news in your inbox, every issue.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Let us know what you thought of this article! All comments must be approved before being published, so it may take a day or two for your comment to become visible.
All The Merionite Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *