African American Literature course will no longer be available


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by Deborah Asfaw and Ruth Efrem

Earlier this school year, Springbrook High School was set to offer a new African American Literature course to students for the 2018-2019 instructional year. The class was planned to be available to any student who has completed English 10, but has recently been removed from the course list for next year. Although it was initially approved by the school’s administration and English Department, the class has been scrapped due to insufficient enrollment and lack of student interest.

The class, which was supposed to be taught by Ms. Muhammad, explored older novels while comparing and contrasting them to current literature. Students would have the opportunity to and delve deeper into the topics explored in their texts. Similar to other English classes, students were to learn how to annotate, improve their writing skills, and make connections between the present and the past (consistent motifs).

The course involved reading poetry, books, and speeches by prominent African American figures including James Baldwin, W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, and many more. Not only would the class have been reading literary works written by historical figures but also contemporary novels. Students would also be given the opportunity to share personal perspectives on a piece.

Despite the unfamiliarity of the course, there are several benefits for taking this class. One major benefit is being able to read minority-written literature that is often times looked over. Not only do students get to learn about slavery and the civil rights movement, but also the diverse history of African Americans, both before and after the slave trade.

“Just because everyone we’re exploring comes from an American American background, it doesn’t make it any less diverse,” said Ms. Muhammad in an earlier interview with the Blueprint – back when the course was still set to be in place.

The removal of this class from Springbrook’s course list is no rare occurrence. Just last year, the school administration had also removed the once popular Journalism class due to low enrollment. Journalism I is where future Blueprint staff writers receive training and experience with writing and publishing articles. The class was replaced with the Yearbook team, and is now taught by Ms. Glass. 

According to the counseling office and others in the English department, staff members and students are working to bring back the class for the 2019-2020 school year. Details have not yet been confirmed.

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing story, and details will be updated as they are received/discovered.