AP African American Studies in Development

Creek offers a new African American history course this year, and high schools around the nation will be offering an AP version of the course by 2024

African+and+African+American+history+often+isnt+covered+in+depth+in+history+classes.+For+that+reason%2C+history+teacher+Marc+Ramsey+introduced+the+CP+African+American+Studies+course%2C+and+College+Board+is+in+the+process+of+testing+the+AP+African+American+class.

Alex Gribb

African and African American history often isn’t covered in depth in history classes. For that reason, history teacher Marc Ramsey introduced the CP African American Studies course, and College Board is in the process of testing the AP African American class.

Vee Williamson and Marie Webster

This year, for the first time, Creek is offering a semester-long CP African American Studies course. The College Board is currently developing an AP African American Studies class that will likely be available to all high schools by 2024.

The idea of a CP African American Studies program arrived at Creek when Marc Ramsey did, in May of 2020. Ramsey teaches US and World History and is the first and only CP African American teacher at Creek.

“[During] my interview with Principal Silva, [some things] that he asked me [were]: ‘What can you do? What makes you unique? Why should I hire you?’” Ramsey said.  “And one thing I mentioned was [that] I’m going to bring an African American class to this school because [we] don’t have one.” 

Two years in the making, the CP course was finally approved in Feb. 2022. 

Other history courses touch on the subject of African American history, but don’t go into much detail, according to Ramsey. As a result, many students go into CP African American History with very little background knowledge. 

“So a lot of what we talk about can be very disturbing and shocking, and it catches them off guard sometimes, but that’s a good thing,” Ramsey said. “Not that I’m here to shock or surprise them, but they’re learning and they’re internalizing it.”

The AP rendition of the course would go into even more depth. Accompanied by the rigor of taking a weighted course, students will have the opportunity to learn about a range of topics, from civil rights and politics to arts and culture.

Some students don’t have to wait for the course to be officially implemented to take the class. According to the Washington Post, 60 high schools nationwide are providing a demo version this year where students enrolled can take the course and the AP exam, but they don’t receive credit for it. Overland High School is among the schools debuting AP African American Studies to its students, but Creek is not.

According to Quincy Evans, an Overland student enrolled in the demo course, some of his classmates are frustrated that they won’t be able to reap the same benefits from the demo course as they would from an established AP course.

“We don’t get college credit for it even though it’s an AP class,” Evans said. “I overheard some people saying the class is pointless.”

Even so, Evans believes that having an African American social studies class as an AP class is valuable.

“I had a lot of [background knowledge] due to me being African American and just the knowledge that my pops and ma would give me,” Evans said. “[In the class] I learned some things that I hadn’t learned before.”