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Clark Chronicle

The student news site of Clark Magnet High School

Clark Chronicle

The student news site of Clark Magnet High School

Clark Chronicle

AP African American Studies has become the most controversial AP class to ever exist

Ariana Garibian
Dr. Pruitt teaching the AP African American Studies class about David Walker’s appeal, a slave narrative.

AP African American Studies: the most controversial AP course, has taken the country by storm with the class quickly getting banned in 13 states before the beginning of the school year. It has struck conversation about whether or not black history should be studied in high school and if students should be rewarded for taking the course.

AP African American Studies has been in the works for more than a decade. The AP Board  created a course for students to have the option of learning more about African history. The course focuses on many different fields including literature, the arts and humanities, political science, geography, and science. It is supposed to be a class that allows students to explore African culture on a deeper level in high school while getting AP credit from taking an exam. However, the backlash from other states has made this the most controversial AP class to date.

States have questioned whether or not the course will follow the “Anti-CRT” criteria (anti-critical race theory) which bans the teaching of analyzing how laws, social and political movements, are shaped by social conceptions of race and ethnicity. With this ban being active, it’s putting the class under review in states like Virginia and Arkansas. Arkansas, North Dakota, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia have been the most active states in criticizing the people taking this course as AP credit in high school. 

This year, GUSD has piloted the new AP course at two of its high schools: Clark Magnet & Crescenta Valley High School. 

Clark’s newest AP class, a small course with 22 students ranging from sophomores to seniors, is being taught by Dr. Pruitt, PhD in African Literature, Critical Theory, and American Literature. As the course is brand new, resources are yet to be created for teachers taking on this course. “The college board classroom is blank for AP African, which does not allow for students to know what the exam will look like. They just told me that we won’t get any content on the site until spring of 2024” Dr. Pruitt said. 

The students at Clark are typically highly motivated and challenge themselves in the honors and AP classes they take. There are over eight AP classes students at Clark can take as juniors, however, the choices are a lot more limited for sophomores. With the addition of AP African American Studies, the sophomores have two AP classes to choose from in their second year in high school. Each year changes are made to the AP courses as administrators and counselors at Clark take into account student requests and needs when creating the master schedule. 

Dr. Pruitt is a highly qualified teacher and has great rapport with his students. “If there’s anything I know how to do well, it’s preparing students for multiple choice questions, even when I’m teaching blind,” Pruitt said. 

“College board doesn’t have too much information so it’s kind of difficult, but Pruitt is doing a great job setting things up with the little information he does have. Dr. Pruitt is very articulate, and you can definitely tell he knows what he is talking about. He makes class engaging and fun, and breaks down topics and concepts really well so students can actually understand what they are learning about,” senior Samantha Talbot said. 

Dr. Pruitt promises to prepare students to the best of his abilities through his years of studying this topic. AP courses can be stressful for schools when they are focusing on data and statistics. Hopefully students recognize that administrators, counselors, and teachers are more than willing to work with them to bring classes like this to campus to elevate the academic experience for their population. 

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About the Contributor
Ariana Garibian
Ariana Garibian, Managing Editor
Interests/Hobbies? I love to read, paint, and spending time with family. Dream Destination? Europe Something I'd tell my 10 year old self: Life is only going to get better from here. Keep on chasing your goals and dreams. Favorite Genre: Action What piece of text do you like to read the most? Romance novels

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