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African American Studies students debate best path to freedom

Upper Schoolers in Kyla Young’s African American studies class capped off the semester with a trial about securing freedom.

“This is the culminative of our class that has been asking the question, ‘what is the best path for freedom for African Americans?’ We have looked from Reconstruction all the way through to modern times and we have been considering seven paths to freedom,” Young said.

One group of students picked culture and education, and the other group picked. economics and political institutions. They divided into two teams to argue their paths in a mock trial. The students used primary and secondary sources and prepared a case file for each side and submitted them to the other team. Using their research and what they had learned in class, the students portrayed lawyers for both sides as well as different Black intellectuals and historians, like Fannie Lou Hamer, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Evelyn Brooks Higginbottom, who appeared as a witness in the trial.