Dallas students among the first in the state to try new African American studies course

A class offered to Dallas ISD students may help promote diversity and inclusion.

The goal is to have the new African American studies course offered throughout the state. For now, its’ being offered as an elective at Townview Magnet Center.

But with so much that went into making it happen, even that is an accomplishment.

The Texas State Board of Education is expected to approve the implementation of the class in local schools sometime in 2020.

In the past, there were concerns brought up about classes like this one being divisive and fueling racial tension. But the creators of the current curriculum assured that’s no longer a problem.

In the past, African American studies courses have only scratched the surface, going over parts of the civil rights movement.

The new course looks at African and African American contributions to society as a whole by way of math, science and other key moments that have had an impact on the country.

“They have received it so well. It has just been so refreshing to see my Hispanic students embrace someone else’s story and to ask questions and to make assertions and to embrace it like it was as important as their own. That’s what we need in this country right now – to embrace someone else’s story,” said Shannon Anderson, the African American studies teacher at Townview Magnet.

“Once I get out of this class, I will be a much better person knowing the history of our country. Because I know that not many people won’t acknowledge it but by acknowledging it we are able to be better,” added Esmeralda Martinez, a Townview Magnet sophomore.

Before the start of the 2018 school year, the Texas Education Agency approved rolling the course out in Dallas ISD schools.

In terms of adding the class in all Texas schools, the board of education should make a final decision next spring.