African American literature, a new, senior-level class taught by Principal James Hogue and Megan McCaffrey, meets seventh period in McCaffrey’s room to read, listen and learn.
Three of the students — all of whom are hand-picked by Hogue — — agree this class requires commitment.
To Jared Perdue, Ravleen Ingle and Siv Street, the class is special.
“You definitely learn a lot,” Street said. “You have a lot of interesting conversations about topics you may not think about a lot, and see a lot of different opinions from a lot of different people, in a space where it’s pretty much no-judgment.”
No one bats an eye at the fact that this class is taught by a white male. He reminds his students he is teaching African American literature from the perspective of a white guy. “…He seems like he’s done his research and he’s really respectful about it,” Street said.
“He’s an open-minded individual…He seems like he knows what he’s talking about,” Ingle said. Perdue, an African American student of Hogue’s, does not care about Hogue teaching the class.
This class requires commitment. “…You have to be willing to become interested in something you wouldn’t be typically interested in and be willing to listen to others’ opinions.” Ingle said.
The class contains a lot of reading, and you have to be ready to read said Street. “There’s a lot and it’s not very skinny books, there’s books about 500 pages long with different topics that you really have to sink your teeth in” said Street.
Overall, the seniors said they do not find the class all that difficult.
Class discussion requires listening and attention.
“…You have to have an open mind” Jared Perdue said.
But the class discussion is blunt and brutally honest. When it comes to the class’ open-minded discussion, people cannot be emotional about it Street said, otherwise, people’s feelings WILL get hurt.
So, what if someone wants to be apart of this class? If there are enough seniors interested in the class next year, the class will be taught again. African American literature is a semester-long elective, Principal Hogue said.
If someone would like to be apart of the class, they’re encouraged to register, but they must understand that they are handpicked and so, enrollment is not guaranteed.