African American Studies class goes on field trip


Caroline Attmore

Frisco ISD’s first ethnic studies class, African American Studies, went on a field trip to learn about the Pullman Porters.

Aleeva Naeem, Staff Reporter

The African American Studies class is taking a field trip to Frisco’s Museum of the American Railroad on Wednesday to study and understand the Pullman Porters and their contribution to the advancement of Civil Rights during the 20th century.

“The Museum of the American Railroads is a museum dedicated to railroad history,” African American Studies teacher Sarah Wiseman said. “So, the Pullman Porters were largely African American men who traveled around the country working on these train cars. What makes them interesting is that they are one of the first really big, powerful unions for African Americans.”

The Pullman Porters also helped create a Black middle class with economic opportunities. 

“Also, it was a really good job economically for unskilled laborers, which was helpful for the African American community which had less access to education and skilled jobs,” Wiseman said. “So, the Pullman Porters are part of what helped create a Black Middle class.”

Being able to get a glimpse of what the Pullman Porters went through is part of understanding their history, a story that should only be told by them according to senior Iman Chaudhry.  

“For a long time now, Black people have gone through extreme hardships in America,” senior Chaudhry said. “The history of what happened to them has been distorted to make it seem like it wasn’t as bad. Black Americans deserve to have their true history told and to have it told in truth and with the correct emotions. It should come straight from them.”

Chaudhry’s words are echoed by senior Gabrielle Essien who also feels it is important to learn about the history of African Americans from the people who lived it. 

“It’s important to learn history from African Americans,” Essien said. “They express their side more accurately, rather than other races telling their story because they may twist it and make it seem like they were the saviors in their freedom.”