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Social Studies

AP African American Studies: What’s in the Newly Revised Course Framework

By Ileana Najarro & Gina Tomko — December 06, 2023 1 min read
The updated AP African American Studies course framework highlights a variety of African American leaders, activists, actors, athletes, and more. Some of the individuals included and pictured here include Mae Jemison (left), President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama (top), Nichelle Nichols, (bottom), and Colin Kaepernick (right).
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The newly revised framework for the College Board’s latest Advanced Placement course on African American studies features new primary and secondary sources, new required topics, and revisions to pre-existing topics.

In April, the nonprofit pledged to revise the course framework published on Feb. 1. Nearly 700 schools across the country are piloting the course ahead of its official launch next fall. Both political leaders and scholars scrutinized the course earlier this year over what was included and excluded in the framework.

Edits to the framework include changes to required topic titles, mergers or splits of pre-existing topics, and additions of content knowledge students who take the course will be expected to master.

See Also

Emmitt Glynn teaches AP African American studies to a group of Baton Rouge Magnet High School students on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023 in Baton Rouge, La. Baton Rouge Magnet High School in Louisiana is one of 60 schools around the country testing the new course, which has gained national attention since it was banned in Florida.
Emmitt Glynn teaches AP African American studies to a group of Baton Rouge Magnet High School students on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023 in Baton Rouge, La. The high school was testing a version of the new course, which has since gained national attention.
Stephen Smith/AP

For instance, in Unit 2.10 in the previous framework and 2.8 of the new framework, students are tasked with being able to explain how racial concepts and classifications emerged alongside definitions of status. But content knowledge descriptions now differ.

Some topics saw major changes in both titles and required content knowledge, as in the case of the original Unit 4.13, called Overlapping Dimensions of Black Life, and the new Unit 4.14, called Interlocking Systems of Oppression.

Similar major changes happened in Unit 4.12 of the old framework, titled Black Women and the Movements in the 20th Century, and the equivalent Unit 4.13 in the new framework, which is titled The Black Feminist Movement, Womanism, and Intersectionality. In his critique of the course framework earlier this year the Florida commissioner of education, Manny Diaz, included intersectionality as a concept that violated state law that restricts instruction on race.

In some instances, new content knowledge was added to an existing topic, as in both versions of Unit 4.9 where discussion of the origins of the Nation of Islam was introduced.

Browse the Frameworks

To further review edits to the course framework, below are links to the two versions, the one published Feb. 1 and the one published Dec. 6. These links offer the full PDF versions of the course frameworks, and are both hundreds of pages long.

Original Framework - Feb. 1, 2023
Revised Framework - Dec.6, 2023


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