When it comes to equity, to race at OPRF, we talk a lot about the discipline system, about an all-black assembly, about the racial make-up of the faculty. We don’t talk much about what gets taught at the high school beyond lamenting that there aren’t enough black students in honors trig.

Now comes word that the fall semester will bring a new class to the history department. The formal title of the class is “Hip Hop in Contemporary American History and Society.” Man, those course names can take the fun out of anything. 

But it is notable and encouraging that the school is actively widening its lens to what is taught. Nearing 40 years since the genre was created out of New York, this topic is ripe for exploration. The school already has a Hip Hop Club, mainly a performance based extracurricular, sponsored by Anthony Clark, a special education teacher at OPRF and, increasingly an activist in the community. Clark proposed the academic course which was adopted by Jason Spoon-Harvey, the history department chair.  

The path to equity at OPRF has many interconnected routes. What gets taught in our classrooms is one of them.

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