What could be more Un-American? A recent decision from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has denied Florida high school students from taking College Board’s new Advanced Placement (AP) African American History course.
This ban is a clear step backwards in acknowledging the crucial role Black Americans play in United States history. To deny students the right to their own country’s history would be to whitewash the sins of this country’s past.
Calling for this ban perpetuates the systemic racism that African Americans have faced in this country, which, ironically, is what the course primarily entails on its syllabus under the topics of “Culture and Community,” “Anticolonial Movements and the Early Black Freedom Movement” and “The Long Civil Rights Movement.”
“Despite the lies from the Biden White House, Florida rejected an AP course filled with Critical Race Theory and other obvious violations of Florida law,” Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. said on Twitter. “We proudly require the teaching of African American history. We do not accept woke indoctrination masquerading as education.”
“We believe in teaching kids facts and how to think but we don’t believe they should have an agenda imposed on them,” Governor Ron DeSantis said in a Jacksonville press conference.
CCHS has previously offered courses entitled African American history, but AP classes are known to go more in depth with the concepts at hand as it is an accelerated courses.
“Having AP African American History offered at CCHS benefits students because it increases general awareness about a culture that may be different from their own,” Multicultural Club sponsor Briana Bullard said. “The College Board typically adheres to a high level of academic integrity and merit; it is my hope that they would never create a curriculum that would be to the detriment of students.”
The recent decision to ban African American history in Florida High Schools shows a dangerous trend of forgetting our past. As George Santayana wrote: “Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it.”
We must remember that the experiences of African Americans have shaped, and continue to shape the United States. By not allowing students to learn about African American history in schools, this decision reinforces a society that overlooks and denies the experiences of marginalized people.
Was the banning of African American history in order to erase the experiences of those people, or to downplay the extreme racism still rampant in Florida and the world? We must ask people in power if this decision was made in a vacuum or in order to conveniently cover up the dark underbelly of our society?
It’s clear that banning AP African American History in Florida High Schools is actively dangerous. We must continue to demand answers and perpetuate education in order to remember our history and move forward in a positive direction. By forgetting our past, we are doomed to repeat it.