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The College Board is sanitizing African American studies just as it has American history

Students are once again in the crosshairs of our nation’s political culture, following the College Board’s decision to buckle under political pressure and strip their Advanced Placement African-American studies course of essential topics for what is supposed to be a rigorous, college-level course.

The revised course framework excludes or makes optional such topics as Black feminism, reparation studies, intersectionality, the queer experience and the Black Lives Matter movement. Optional topics do not appear on AP exams, and AP coursework teaches to the test. How can the study of Black Lives Matter, one of the most impactful civil rights movements of the twenty-first century, which sparked protests around the world, be optional when studying the African American experience?

The head of the College Board, David Coleman, asserted that these changes were based on feedback from pilot schools that the texts addressing these topics were “quite dense,” so the College Board opted to focus on other sources and topics. Surely, the College Board and its team of experts could have changed the texts without downgrading the topics if they had wanted to do so.

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