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Florida

Florida Faith Leaders Unite Behind Confused AP African American Studies Course

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A group of faith leaders are rallying to oppose Florida’s proposal to eliminate African-American research and diversity programs.

An Advanced Placement (AP) course, currently in development, offers high school students an introduction to evidence-based African American studies, but was rejected by the Florida Department of Education.

“For me and other pastors, this is not about politics. RB Holmes Jr. said, ‘This is about history.’

History is one of the three words at the center of the sharp divide between religious leaders and the Florida Department of Education. Leaders want the state to reverse its decision to ban new AP African American studies courses in all public schools. Governor Ron DeSantis did not make the decision, but he supports it because it follows state law.

“We want education, not indoctrination,” said DeSantis. “If you fall on the side of indoctrination, we will decline. If it is education, we will. We believe in teaching our children facts and ways of thinking, I don’t think we should impose an agenda on them.”

The governor references topic 4.19, topic 4.29 “Movements for Black Lives”, and topic 4.15 “Intersection and Activism” in the course titled “Black Queer Stories.”

Manny Diaz of the Florida Board of Education also referred to that theory in a January 20 tweet. A specific concern for this department concerned reading included in AP courses.

“When you try to use black history as a shoehorn for queer theory, it’s clear that you’re trying to use it for political purposes,” DeSantis said.

The religious leaders said they just wanted to be taught the history of African Americans. Nothing more, nothing less.

“This is personal to us, our children, grandchildren, and future generations of African Americans in this country,” said Commissioner Curtis Richardson.

According to the College Board’s website, the course focuses on exploring the significant contributions and experiences of African Americans across all subjects, including authorship, including reading.

AP African American Studies Course Concern. (Credit: Florida Department of Education)

Religious leaders are ready to take it as long as it is needed.

Tallahassee Commissioner Curtis Richardson said: “We’re here today to tell the governor that we’re not just going to sit on the sidelines as things like this happen to our state’s African Americans. “African-American history is American history.”

This coalition of African-American leaders is committed to working as hard as necessary to ensure that the country does so when the Department of Education and state governors fail to recognize it.

“Negro history should be taught consistently and patiently to keep government from going too far,” Holmes said.

What these religious leaders say the government is doing is going too far.

“If we believe in parental rights, why do governments make decisions for parents? If we believe in parental rights, let parents decide,” said Holmes.

Holmes said that if the state did nothing to overturn its decision by February 16, Reverend Al Sharpton and others would go to Tallahassee. We will continue to bring other civil rights leaders and faith-based leaders to Tallahassee to drum on why African-American history matters.”

State lawmakers must change the law to change the ruling, according to the Department of Education.

https://www.winknews.com/2023/01/23/florida-faith-leaders-unite-behind-embattled-ap-african-american-studies-course/ Florida Faith Leaders Unite Behind Confused AP African American Studies Course

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