Central HS offering African-American studies class

Published: Sep. 30, 2019 at 1:58 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2019 at 2:00 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - One Tuscaloosa high school has a new African-American studies class. It’s the first of its kind in the state in public schools.

This all started with college students who take a civil rights African-Americans class on the university level, asking why isn’t a course like this available in high school or even younger? After discovering a lot of interest to take a class like this amongst teens in the area, it’s now offered at Central High School.

Different community partners have already stepped up about wanting to invest and grow this class. A University of Alabama history professor is teaching the “History of Us” class. Dr. John Giggie said the goal is to help students understand how African-American history and U.S. history are connected.

Giggie also has localized the class and wants students to take what they learned during their lessons and educate others.

The plan is to expand the class to the middle school level using the high school students as teachers for the class project.

"In the spring, we’re looking at ways to develop community based projects that take the knowledge outside of the classroom and host a community conference based on their civil rights research, where they can interview leaders about the movement here in Tuscaloosa. The students understand this mission that is to craft a new way of understanding history that doesn’t segregate African-American history from other parts of U.S. history,” said Giggie.

The Central High School Principal, Dr. Clarence Sutton, said they’ve already gotten many calls from surrounding schools about how can they offer the “History of Us” course in their classrooms, too.

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