African American Literature Course approved for 20-21 school year


Teel in the classroom.

Zac-Richard Akuamoa, Staff Writer

An African American Literature course has been approved for the 2020-21 school year. The class will be taught by Melissa Teel and will be offered as an English elective.

“Basically, this class will be centered around looking at the African American experience through poetry, movies, novels, etc.” says Teel. Teel used to teach a Harlem Renaissance class here at DHS and she says her favorite moment in that class was “Watching the students realize that there’s so much more[ to African American history/culture] than they thought there was.”

Teel hopes that all types of students will have an interest in taking the class and that it’ll help to broaden their perspectives.

”This class isn’t just for minorities, it’s for anyone who would like to expand their understanding of life from a different culture. Unfortunately, we don’t always get a broad spectrum of the perspectives of other people. In a community like Danbury where we are so diverse, it’s important that we not just be diverse in the physical, but to also understand each other’s diversity from a literary standpoint and  an emotional standpoint.”

Seniors Javier Urena and Juwill Hernandez also believe that this class will help broaden students’ perspectives.

 “ I think this class will help to clear misconceptions that other students might have about Black culture and it’ll also help to enlighten students as well”  said Urena . 

Hernandez expressed that he “think[s] this class is gonna help people understand some of the roots behind black culture and how the things we see now came to be.”

Brionna Robertson, who is an African-American student, thinks that the class will be especially significant for other African-American students. 

“In History and English classes, we don’t really study Black culture in depth. We only learn about the basics, so I think that it’ll be a good way for black students to learn more about our culture and history.” 

“I think this class has endless potential.” says Teel.