Students Take Black Literature Class


Amirah Cornelius and Payton Meyer

High school students are all trying to learn about their history and themselves. For senior Nadia Roberts the black literature class allows her to reflect on her own identity and what it means to be an African American. 

“I do feel that there should be more classes only because there are so many things that we just don’t know about ourselves,” Senior Nadia Roberts exclaimed.

Discussions of race, and identity in modern culture are becoming more frequent.   

“In this kind of environment, I feel like we need a class that’s focused on black history and how we can further our learning on it,” Roberts said. 

Wauwatosa West started running a brand new class for students to take this 2019-2020 school year. The Black Literature class is for all students to learn about the African American culture. 

“So we’ve been planning this class for over three years. And so we’ve had many, many, many discussions on what it should look like given student input and feedback and ideas,” English teacher Emily Jones said. 

This class was started and brought to the attention of the school board by the students in BSU as a way for all students in general to have a better understanding of the history with African American culture. 

“So some of those issues are police brutality, poverty, stereotyping, affirmative action, underage drinking, white privilege, interracial relationships, gun violence games, biracial identity, activism, allied ship, censorship, media responsibility, super predators. We’ve had a lot of courageous conversations centered specifically around race and intersectionality,” Jones said. 

The many students in this class are for the most part engaged in the discussions and the projects that are assigned.  

“It’s very different from every other class that I’m in. It’s also very unique to know what other people have to go through,” Senior Julia Yang said. 

The Black Literature class furthers the development of all students to feel welcomed and respected within the school.