Covering Kentucky

Feb 23, 2013 4:56 PM

E. Ky. High School Offers Year-Round Black History

WINCHESTER, Ky. (AP) - A teacher at an eastern Kentucky high school says students have responded well to the first yearlong course on black history.

History teacher Amy Madsen said she asked to teach the subject at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester.

"I thought a black history class was in need," said Madsen. "I suggested it. I had to go through a process, write out a course outline and they agreed wholeheartedly

Madsen told The Winchester Sun (http://bit.ly/Xncr54) that the class allows students to study more than just a brief overview of black history during one month out of the school year.

"I wanted this class to not concentrate on slavery. I feel like classes can get stuck there. It's very important to our history, but we wanted to go beyond that in this class," said Madsen.

The curriculum has included novels, such as "The Color of Water" and educational movies like "A Raisin in the Sun."

The response from students has been positive.

"Instead of only having one month of celebrating black history, it's like we get to celebrate it every day," said student Robert Cornelius.

Madsen said she hopes to at some point be able to offer college credit for the class.

"Here at the school, we have what's called dual credit classes. It's when a student can earn college credit through Bluegrass Community and Technical College as well as high school credit in a course. I have applied for this class to be a dual credit course, so we're working on that," she said.

Students were vocal about what they'd like to learn more about.

"I would like to learn more about different African-American subcultures and inventors," said student Khamari Mundy. "It was actually a black man that got Thomas Edison's light bulb to work."

"Yeah. The inventors of peanut butter and the air conditioner, they were black," said student Shawn Ford.

Madsen said her class has a diverse student population.

"I think it's really neat that this class has all races and genders interested," she said.

___

Information from: The Winchester (Ky.) Sun, http://www.centralkynews.com/winchestersun

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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