African American History comes to Elder
Library of Congress

African American History comes to Elder

An interview with teacher Mr. Jungkunz

Elder High School offers a wide-range of classes and electives, from tech-life where students build houses to physics where students explore the rules of the universe. There’s almost something for everyone, so when I learned that Elder was adding a new history course, I wondered what it could possibly be; I thought we already had it all!

This new class, being added next year, is African American History, taught by Mr. Andrew Jungkunz. I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Jungkunz about the class to learn more about the specifics of the new course and how it fits at Elder.

“African American History is essentially a more in-depth course on African American’s impact on this country,” Mr. Jungkunz said.

The course will cover what slavery was like in Africa, the slave trade, and Antebellum slavery, he said, as well as Africans Americans’ roles in the American Revolution, Civil War, and many other major American-involved wars. Students in the class will also study the Jim Crowe time period and segregation prompting the Civil Rights Movement.

“We will start roughly in the 14oo and 1500s in Africa,” Mr. Jungkunz said when asked what point in history the class begins, “as for the American History portion of the class, we will start at about the 1600s and 1700s during the founding of the United States.”

While Mr. Jungkunz was describing some of the many topics that his class will go over, I recognized that his knowledge was seriously impressive, showing his passion for the subject.

Anti-slavery crusader Harriet Tubman is seen in a picture from the Library of Congress taken photographer H.B. Lindsley between 1860 and 1870. (REUTERS)

“I taught African American History for 17 years at Colerain,” Mr. Jungkunz said, “and while I was attending UC, I took all three African American History courses that were available at the time.”

Knowing that future Elder students taking this class will have the opportunity to learn from such an experienced, knowledgeable teacher is just another thing to be grateful for at Elder. And with the school growing in diversity every year, this new class will fit perfectly into the schedule.

“I love the subject,” Mr. Jungkunz said, “its an opportunity for another elective, something that maybe a lot of people will be interested in.”

For students wishing to pursue a major in history, he said, theirs information in this class that you won’t get in any other American History Classes.

Matin Luther King Jr. depicted giving a speech in Washington DC

“I honestly think its a class that everyone should take,” he said, “because no matter who you are, what your background is, there is something to learn from that part of history.”

Mr. Jungkunz is making the class available to all levels of students and only a semester long so that as many students as possible have the opportunity to take it.

“We get to talk about things that aren’t normally talked about in a regular American History class,” he said, “getting to see their reactions, a lot like mine was when I was in college, like ‘why have I not learned any of this before.'”


In recent years, the amount of African American History courses has sky-rocketed, and it is wonderful that the course is coming to Elder. I hope that as many students as possible take advantage of this great opportunity to experience and learn about the sacrifice, suffering, and success that African Americans have endured and accomplished in this country.



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