A New AP Class: African American Studies


Quinlin Pounders, In-Depth Writer

First announced in 2023, AP African American Studies (APAAS) is a new course that began its trial run this school year. AP Classroom began a trial run of the basic curriculum this year in sixty schools across the United States, planning to iron out the problems and introduce APAAS in hundreds of other schools in the 2023-2024 school year.

After the trial run this year followed by the expanded integration in 2024-2025, the following school year is planned to be the first year it is available to be taught at any school in America. By the spring of 2025, the AP Exam for African American Studies will be instituted, completing the integration of the class to the AP Classes offered by AP Classroom.

The course itself has been created with the help of over three hundred African American Studies Professors, and will span the entirety of American History. According to the AP Classroom, the class “begins with ancient African kingdoms and traces a path from slavery to freedom”, then will lead to the Americas. Within the United States, African American Studies will focus on significant events in the country’s history, from the American Revolution until the Jim Crow laws and the civil rights movement of the sixties. The AP Class also focuses on the “individuals crucial to a study of African American history and culture” (College Board). By focusing on the Arts as well as plain history, the College Board hopes to show the impact of African American Culture on the USA’s culture and history as a whole.

However, AP African American Studies originally was going to have much more content. The curriculum was going to extend all the way into modern events– covering recent events such as the George Floyd Protests in 2020 and the Black Lives Matter Movement that has recently picked up speed begun. However, when an updated look at the curriculum was released on February 1st, these topics were no longer present. Weary journalists postulated that the revision of the curriculum may have been at the behest of Floridan Politicians, as they had voiced concern with other parts of the curriculum earlier in the year. Governor Desantis and other Floridan politicians criticized the class for being “Woke Indoctrination”, and criticized the class for pulling class material from people the politicians deemed potentially controversial. Now, much of the criticized material, consisting mostly of units on the Black Lives Matter Movement, and curricular lessons focusing on African American Feminists and those a part of the LGBTQ community. Those working on AP African American Studies within AP Classroom have denied claims of both indoctrinating children and bending the curriculum to political pressure.


In spite of these minor controversies, AP African American Studies’ trial run is still in full swing, leading into the nationwide release of the full class by 2025. The help of hundreds of professors in forming the class will surely result in a fascinating and enlightening course.