African American History Class Lends Perspective


Cayden Slobotski and Bear Steier


The beginning of Prep’s African American History classes came from Prep students from the Black Student Alliance 2 years ago. The class was created to give students a different option to learn about history that isn’t always looked at. The class starts from the foundation of black history, and brings it to the current day. We talked to Mr. Allen Burrell, Director of Student Advocacy and Outreach, to get more information on the class.

Jay Journal: What is this class about?

Burrell: The African American History class teaches about the history of the East African Kingdoms, the power of the Mediterranean, West Africa and their Kingdoms, Pre Reconstruction, Post Reconstruction, the Civil Rights era, and present-day.


Jay Journal: Why was African American History put into our options for class?

Burrell: This class was put into Prep’s curriculum to give students a different option to learn about new history that isn’t always looked at. African American history gives students the opportunity to learn about different perspectives, and an outline on questions that may go unanswered in a different American history class because teachers are touching on World and American history so it gives a different dynamic. When a person follows history, it tells the present day story, and a lot of those stories haven’t been told which gives misperception of what people go through, especially what African-American people have been through, and still go through to this day.


Jay Journal: Where did the idea come from to start this class?

Burrell: The idea to start this class came from some Prep students from the Black Student Alliance about 2 years ago. These students came to me interested in learning more about their history. The students felt like they weren’t learning much about their history in the traditional World and US History classes taught at Prep.


Jay Journal: What is the difference between the AP class, and the regular class?

Burrell: Both classes teach most of the same content but the AP course goes more in depth into context and is more community-based. The projects that are assigned are also different. The AP class will also move at a faster pace and more information will be learned over a 18 week period.


Jay Journal: How has this class changed over time?

Burrell: African American History at Prep started only a year ago so it is still in its growing stage. “It is more of a college preparatory class because it is discussion based, and there will be tests, and there will be times where you can state your opinion too”