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Two high school students share impact of Colorado's first AP African American studies class

Gloria Ansah and Busisiwe Chimembe are seniors at Cherry Creek Schools' Overland High School, home to the first AP African American studies class in Colorado. | Your Opinion
Posted: 2:27 AM, Feb 11, 2023
Updated: 2023-02-11 04:50:47-05
A look inside the only AP African American studies class in Colorado

Gloria Ansah

I've learned more about my history, like a lot of things that I didn't learn in previous classrooms, and this just gives me more of a chance to be more connected to my history and be appreciated that I get to learn more about my history and stuff.

Busisiwe Chimembe

The whole reason why I wanted to be in this class was to learn about my history as being an African-American.

There has been times where after class — or even just during class — I'm just looking at things and I'm just like, so shook by the experiences I had to happen (sic).

Like my mom, she's African, so she didn't have to go through slavery. But my stepdad, his grandma did. And that's not that far away from me, so to think my grandma knows about this and I'm learning about it now.

It does put some pain in my heart, but it also still makes me realize that I'm lucky enough to be knowing the raw truth for it.

Gloria Ansah

I agree. Usually for other history classes we learn about specifics, like only Martin Luther King, or Malcolm X, but in this class we get to learn about different people and stuff. So I think it's pretty cool and that's one of my favorite things — learning about different influencers and their part in black history.

Busisiwe Chimembe

I feel like U.S. history very much doesn't give credit to black Americans a lot. Like this class is mainly talking about what have black Americans been able to do for America.

Gloria Ansah

In a lot of different history classes we don't really go deep, we just touch briefly on Black history and different things about it. But for this class, we go more deep into it, we learn more about influencers, more about events, and I just get to see a lot of people getting interested about learning things that kind of affect me in some ways. And it's pretty cool to be a part of this class.

Busisiwe Chimembe

History repeats itself. If you don't pay attention to what happened, then that's what's going to keep on happening.


Cherry Creek Schools' Overland High School is home to the first AP African American studies class in Colorado. The optional class is a pilot program and is divided into four main learning units.
Instructor Nathan Umetsu says the first unit explores African empires, and the second teaches about the transatlantic slave trade and experience.

Since the class is a pilot program, students do not have to pay for the AP exam, but will take it for free because the College Board has not decided if their scores will be accepted by universities yet. For a deeper look at the course, watch this report from Denver7's Colette Bordelon.

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