Fingers Crossed for the Endangered Literature Class

By Megan McNaughton
FROM: The Corsair

BridgetteWith her long purple dress, aqua hair, and strong spirit, Professor Bridgette Robinson walks into Santa Monica College’s (SMC) Drescher Hall 212, greets her English 1 class, and begins to read along to Asha Bandele and Patrisse Cullors’ novel “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.” She easily commands the attention of the room; her students sit on the edge of their seats listening.

“We are all the same because we are all made of stardust,” She explains to her students.

Robinson teaches on a platform of compassion. Inspired by African American writers of past and present, she hopes to encourage her students to not only realize there is more to literature than Shakespeare, but also encourages them to expand their humanity.

Her English 34 class, Afro-American Literature, was nearly canceled this semester due to low enrollment — something not uncommon among ethnic study classes. Robinson reports her class is diverse in every aspect, with most students being English majors. According to articulation agreements from Assist, ethnic literature courses aren’t required to transfer to a UC or CSU for common majors, like English. With the exception of ethnic studies majors, English 34 is often neglected because it doesn’t fit into most transfer pathways.

The work the course entails is also a factor for low enrollment, Robinson believes, “The idea of talking about race in a major way is scary for a lot of us.” In addition, Afro-American Literature is not offered every semester at SMC. Read Rest of Article Here

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