Florida Black Students React To Governor’s Rejection To Teach African-American History In Schools

Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration rejected an Advanced Placement course for African-American history to be taught in schools. Florida students shared their thoughts on the decision.

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DeSantis Blocks Black History

According to CNN, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration blocked an AP African- American history course from being taught in the state’s public schools.

This decision comes a year after The College Board announced they would make the course available for over 60 high schools in the country. 

“I honestly think it’s not fair for students of color to not learn their own history,” Miami native Jerry Humphrey said. “From kindergarten to high school, we learned every accomplishment the white man has done. Why can’t we learn ours?”

Twitter users also voiced their opinion on the DeSantis administration’s decision. One user felt DeSantis banning African-American studies convinced her he is a racist.

Meanwhile, another user simply called DeSantis a “bigot.” 

Racist Ron?

DeSantis and his administration have been labeled as “racist” since he was sworn into office in 2019. DeSantis also signed the STOP Woke Act in 2022, which bans the discussion of race and gender in schools.

Florida native and current North Carolina A&T University student, Cleveland Odom said he felt the decision “was a reflection of DeSantis’ term as governor” for his home state. 

“It’s upsetting,” Odom said. “Black history is American history. DeSantis is dangerous and destructive. He needs to be removed from office immediately.” 

 Another Florida student felt DeSantis’ decision was an example of White supremacy and claimed it is still very present in education.

“Gov. DeSantis rejecting the AP African-American course is just another way of proving how white supremacy shows up in our educational system,” University of  Florida master’s student Makayla Williams said.

“African- American studies must be taught in institutions across the country, including Florida,” Williams added. “Because if we continue to try to erase the history of our country, what stops the country from repeating that same history over again?”

Another Disappointment

A Twitter user also shared that she believes DeSantis’ plans are for the state to go backward with education and legislature in Florida.

Florida A&M University junior, Javon Thomas said Desantis’ decision is a significant setback for education.

“The importance of history is the ability to learn from it,” Thomas said.

“Robbing Black students of the opportunity of learning from their non-Black counterparts of the opportunity to learn about their Black classmates’ history will just contribute to more ignorance.” Thomas also called DeSantis’ decision ‘unacceptable.’ ” 

However, DeSantis defended the decision in a video released on his Twitter account.

“We have guidelines and standards in Florida, we want education, not indoctrination,” DeSantis said. 

DeSantis also mentioned he rejected the course due to part of the course’s curriculum containing queer theory.

“When you try to use Black history to shoehorn in queer theory, you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes,” Desantis also said in the video.

According to media reports, DeSantis’ office said the state would reconsider the decision if the course is changed to comply with Florida law.