Limited History


Coach Lee explaining a movie to his 6th hour class. Photo taken by NiaMarie Collier.

What’s a subject you should learn in school but it isn’t really prioritized? African-American History. American History is a subject that’s taught to children k-12, but African-American history is only taught on holidays.

The African-American History class  is designed to give students the opportunity to expand their knowledge on African-American History that was touched on in U.S. History. The first semester includes African-American History from the 15th century to 1865. It deals with West African Kingdoms, the Atlantic slave trade, and the institution of slavery in Africa and the Americas. The themes of struggle, resistance and survival will be studied through culture, art, music and literature. 

Students listen as Coach Lee teaches. Photo taken by NiaMarie Collier.

American History class is a chronological coverage of American History. The first semester covers discovery of the New World up to the Industrial Age. The second semester emphasizes a comprehensive coverage of the twentieth century. 

African-American History classes are just as important as American History classes because students have no choice but to learn about American History throughout elementary, middle school, and high school. If you wanted to expand your knowledge on African American History, you would have to do so on your own time or you would have to wait until you’re a sophomore in high school to take a class. 

According to Coach Brian Lee, a teacher at Carbondale Community High School who teaches both African-American History and U.S. History, says, “African-American History is an elective. This is not uncommon and it is very important to remember that American History includes much of the content of the African-American class.” 

He continues by adding, “AA history allows for students to dig down and gain an understanding of a specific topic. It’s lesson are very important and this class is designed to give students an opportunity to learn more about this specific topic”

I believe African-American and U.S. History should be taught equally because African-American History has a huge impact on American History, no one knows where America would be without slaves. Although African-American History is a lot more than just slavery but slavery is always the first thought to students who are uneducated of their African-American History.