Ms. Findlay starts new African American literature class

Zachary Kahler, Staff writer

   English teacher Jennifer Findlay talks about starting a new African literature class in two years. This class would be a skinny that alternates each year with her literature to film class. The class is meant to focus on African-American writers and literature.

   Findlay explained how she wants to start a literature class that focuses on the diversity in the writer’s world.

   “I want to add more diversity to our English electives and all of the readings we have through the whole English department. Focusing on African American literature may appeal to certain populations in our school, and it may create more diverse voices for our students,” Findlay stated. 

   Findlay got this idea for a new literature class last school year.

   “I came up with this idea last year in one on my English classes. We were reading the novel Black and White, and I got really invested in the themes that the novel presented. One of our school’s initiatives is on diversity, so those two things came together, and I think a class on African American literature would really appeal to the students.”

   In this class, students will read and analyze works created by African American authors. Some of the books and short stories that Findlay has chosen for this class includes Beloved by Toni Morrison, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. 

  One of the chosen collections of writing, Black Voices, starts all the way back to slave narratives and goes to more contemporary literature including poems and essays. Some of the authors in this anthology include Fredrick Douglass, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and W. E. B. DuBois. 

   As the semester goes on, the students will be tasked with analyzing the stories not only from the reader’s point of view but also the author’s point of view. They will try to find the hidden meaning the the author tried to convey through their writing. 

   This class speaks out to the readers in the student body, but it also speaks out to the writers and minorities as well. No matter who you are, though, this class is one worth signing up for in the next few years.     

   “I am excited that this class is available. It gives students an opportunity to study an aspect of literature that is often ignored,” Ben Dembinski, ‘21 stated.