Students Speak to the Board About Black Literature and History Classes


By McKenna Hudson

On Thursday, April 15, the FHSD Board of Education held their monthly meeting to discuss various topics of interest with the community and to receive feedback. On the agenda for Thursday’s meeting was hearing student’s comments about the new black history and black literature courses being offered in the Francis Howell school District next school year. Members of the community were concerned about how the black history and literature courses being offered could be teaching about certain ideologies or were separating the black community at North by making it a separate course instead of working it into the curriculum. Junior Ellie Lichty as well as other students at North attended the meeting and spoke to why the course is a valuable addition to the FHSD school district. 

“I feel the regular curriculum hasn’t really talked about this and especially in today’s society where race is such a big issue, and I think it’s important for students because it will give a greater understanding and perspective of races and it will teach what we haven’t been taught,” Lichty said. 

The introduction of the black history and black literature courses will be the first of its kind being offered at North. The black history course will cover a wide range of black history from black figures to events that shaped black history. The black literature course will review various works of literature from black authors and students will be able to experience the writings through the author’s point of view. With the addition of these optional courses, students will be able to see the world through a new perspective and learn more about some of the untold stories of black history.

“[I’m excited] just to learn the heritage I was never taught or exposed to in any other classes and learning about all the other stuff that doesn’t get talked about,” Junior Hugh Kibera said. 

Kibera attended the FHSD board meeting and voiced his opinions about the course. Here you can read the speeches gave by Kibera, junior Aidyn Gleason, Lichty and junior Carly Gordon. 

“Mainly when it’s black history, it’s Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks who are influential figures but maybe in this course they’ll touch on what Malcolm X did or about the social group called the Black Panthers and how they advocated for civil rights, I’m just excited to learn about all these new important events that I’m sure I’ll be shocked by,” Kibera said. 

The start of the 2021-22 school year will bring optimism with the new inclusion of these courses and shows the step FHSD took when incorporating black history and black literature courses. Hopes for the future are bright as these could begin the start of including history courses for many different minority groups at North. 

“I’m very optimistic about people having these conversations because I’ve been diving out on my own and reading stories about black authors and learning about black historical figures and I think it’s amazing and I’m just so excited to learn about these things,” Lichty said.