by Kirby Gibbs
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - February is Black History Month, but there has long been debate on doing away with Black History month all together. Some say that African-American history should be incorporated into school curriculum year-round. One area school is making strides to make that happen.
"I personally have been trying for 27 yrs. To get a black studies class in Lufkin High School" said John Mitchell, the Language Arts Facilitator of Lufkin I.S.D.
27 years later, Lufkin High School has diversified their curriculum to include African-American Literature.
"We started as a pilots course in African American Female Studies" says Mitchell. "It's a literature course. It's not a history course. It's for a group of specific young women to study the literature that has been written by Black female authors."
The idea came about when the high school conducted a random survey to find out what Black female students knew about renown authors.
"Who is Rita Dove, who is Nikki Giovanni? All these are women who are living now... Toni Morrison. What black woman won the nobel prize for literature? It suddenly occurred to me that we were raising a whole generation of people who did not know who these black authors were."
But not anymore, now these girls have the opportunity to learn about these Black authors, year-round.
Mitchell told KTRE, "I believe that it's important. I think it will make a difference in the way the view literature, their studies, everything, that they'll make a connection to where there are other black women who have gone on and have been very very successful."
Hopefully, this course will encourage these young women to follow in the footsteps of these great Black authors.