Twenty-eight Cass Tech students participated in a pilot course for AP African American Studies this school year. Cass is the only school participating in Michigan and is one of 60 schools in the United States.
These students were honored at the Charles H. Wright Museum for completing the course. They
received graduation cords, a one-year membership to the museum, and a “Spirit of Detroit” award from councilwoman Gabriela Santiago-Romero.
Gregory Evans, the AP African American Studies teacher, was asked to teach the course because he had previously taught African American History.
“I had to go to training in Washington, D.C. in July 2022 for four days,” said Evans. “The College Board was trying to pilot the class around the country and Cass was selected because we already had Advanced Placement classes.”
Senior Demetrius Tyson, a student who took the class, talked about some things he learned over the course of the past year.
“My favorite part of the course was learning about the slave narrative of Olaudah Equiano because I never heard it from the first-person perspective,” said Tyson.
Evans said he faced challenges when adjusted to teaching AP African American Studies.
“Even though I had been teaching African American History, there were still some things I was not familiar with,” said Evans.
Tyson said he was surprised to be recognized and honored at the Charles H. Wright museum.
“ It’s really important to me to make history throughout my life,” said Tyson. “This is one of the first and many ways of how I’m going to make history.”
It didn’t sink into Mr. Evans just how important this course was until it was over.
“I didn’t really think about how this is going to be an important step in teaching African American History for the whole country,” said Evans. “It really is a monumental thing for us to have, a class that students can take and receive college credits for it.”
Evans said he was pleased with how this year turned out for his new class and his students.
“I really think my seniors are going to do great things, ” said Evans. “Not just because they had me as a teacher or because they had this class, but they are really hardworking and smart young people. I had some of the brightest students in my class and out of all the ups and downs, we were learning together throughout the process.”