Ms. Waters Brings African American Studies to Wakefield

Ms.+Waters+Brings+African+American+Studies+to+Wakefield

Gabbi Green '21 and Banu Ahmad '21

Teaching history from the perspective of minorities is important because it can be taught incorrectly, or left out completely. History has been taught from the point of view of those in power.  African American History has been white washed and altered. Ms. Waters is trying to change that, one course at a time.

Ms. Waters is a Wakefield teacher who teaches AP U.S. History. She noticed that “my students were missing something…I noticed that there was a huge gap in knowledge of African Americans and their history in the U.S.”

At times, when you are a minority, you sometimes feel as though no one in the books looks like me, no one who has achieved greatness looks like me.”

— Ms.Waters

Ms. Waters was motivated to start an African American Studies course at Wakefield. This class will give students a perspective on African Americans’ life throughout history. Her main focus is to educate students about the impact that African American have made on society. She said, “African American Studies are the studies of Blacks in the United States; it will encompass how we got here, from the beginning, the actual slave trade in Africa, what that encompassed, and who were the leading players in starting that trade, and why the trade existed. It will then go all the way from enslavement to freedom. We will end it at the election of President Obama.”

This class will finally give notice to the voices of African Americans. Slight representation isn’t enough; we need to learn about the hardships and struggles, as well as the victories and achievements. We can’t go around telling only half of  history in one perspective. Ms.Waters said, “every child should be exposed to this information. At times when you are a minority, you sometimes feel as though no one in the books looks like me, no one who has achieved greatness looks like me.” You should go into this class with an open mind and be ready to learn history from a different perspective.

“I want students to feel empowered by who they are, their heritage, and their journey that they have come through.”