Social Justice Literature gets High School Students Thinking

Concordia has introduced a Social Justice Literature elective to complement our AP curriculum. 

The course aims to define social justice and looks at how modern cultures try to come to terms with the legacy of colonialism.

Currently reading and analyzing the book “Things Fall Apart” by noted Nigerian author Chebe Obeche, the class will also read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

Students will conclude the course by writing a letter to their future selves about their views on social justice. 

The Bolt spoke with students about how Social Justice Literature has made them think:

Matilda (G12)

Taking Social Justice has opened my eyes to issues of inequality going on around me that I was previously clueless about. There's definitely a lot of deep and hard thinking that you need to do as part of this class, but thanks to that I feel like I now have a more complete view of the world. 

Dylan (G12)

Mr. Richmond began his "Social Justice" class by teaching us about various philosophical ideas on morality—we learned about Kant's Categorical Imperative, Jeremy Bentham's and John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, and John Rawl's Veil of Ignorance. Now we are transitioning into learning about colonialism through Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart". Mr. Richmond's class so far has been really exciting because of his approach: he starts with widely-applicable philosophical ideas and then narrows down to a specific topic (in this case, colonialism). I look forward to spending more time in his class to better understand how the word functions in terms of equality and fairness. 

Brianna (G11)

Being in this class has been a great eye opening experience for all of us. I think even though a lot of people are aware of the injustices that take place in our modern society, we're also somewhat mentally immune to them because of the abundance of these topics on the internet. Thanks to the Social Justice course, I am allowed more time to reflect and contemplate these issues both in class and on my own and realize how privileged we all are in this community. Since this class holds no definite answer to any questions, it's a great tool to get our brains going and question the subjective systems and ideas previously established within our own society. 

  • HS