The Framework

The Framework: Sponsored and Brought to you by The Enslaved Folks of America and their Descendants

The panel discussion focuses on the College Board’s AP African-American Studies curriculum course, its significance to American history, and its relevance for today. Panelists include members of the AP African-American Studies Development Committee and current students. 


Mrs. Antoinette Dempsey-Waters is a 18-master educator who has been teaching in Northern Virginia for the last 14 years and is the recipient of the 2019 Mt. Vernon Ladies Association History Teacher of the Year award. She is a member of the Development Committee for the College Board’s AP African American Studies and previously created the African American History Curriculum for Arlington Public Schools and is one of the co-authors of the African American Curriculum for the state of Virginia. 

Antoinette earned a B.A. in History and Secondary Education from Temple University and a M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. Mrs. Dempsey-Waters has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Magazine, on and WJLA-TV (ABC) news. Videos of her students were included on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and most recently she has been featured in Arlington Magazine and US News. She resides with her husband and their two sons in Bowie, MD where she is currently working on designing various teaching materials for AP African American Studies.

Dr. Robert J. Patterson is a professor of African American Studies and served as the inaugural chair of the Department of African American Studies at Georgetown University (2016-2019). He is the author of Destructive Desires: Rhythm and Blues Culture and the Politics of Racial Equality as well as Exodus Politics: Civil Rights and Leadership in African American Literature and Culture, the co-editor of The Psychic Hold of Slavery: Legacies in American Expressive Culture and editor of the award-winning Black Cultural Production After Civil Rights (University of Illinois Press, 2019). Currently, he is working on two books.  One is titled Black Equity, Black Equality: Reparation and Black Communities and the other one is African American Slave Narratives: A Very Short Introduction.

Dr. Patterson also has published articles that have appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly, Black Camera: An International Film Journal, Religion and Literature, The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, The Cambridge Companion to African American Women’s Writing, The Cambridge Companion to Civil Rights Literature, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies. 

Dr. Patterson’s teaching interests and courses mirror his research projects and he has taught a range of courses that examine black cultural production, racial equity, and the legacies of slavery.  He also teaches the Introduction to African American studies course required for students majoring or minoring in African American Studies.

Dr. Patterson has worked with governmental agencies, school systems, and other organizations to develop solutions that increase diversity, cultivate inclusion, and provide equity of access and outcomes.  He currently serves as the Co-Chair of the College Board’s Development Committee for its pilot course in African American Studies. He has also appeared on MSNBC, Fox Soul, CNN, and the British Broadcasting Channel, as well as additional media platforms, to discuss his expertise in slavery’s legacies, reparations, and racial equity more broadly.

Dr. Patterson has collaborated with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to endow the Robert J. Patterson Scholarship Fund, which supports residents of Hartford, CT, who intend to pursue an undergraduate degree in African American Studies, social justice, the arts, or the humanities.