Feb 1 marks the beginning of the Black History Month and it could not have started on a more distasteful note as Florida Governor Ros DeSantis’ administration banned the introduction of a new AP course on the African American studies, citing it as contrary to Florida laws and culture.
In January the Florida Department of Education informed the College Board of certain objections to the new proposed AP curriculum, without which, the Board was told, approval would not be granted by the administration. The objections related to inclusions of Critical Race theory, reparation and Black Lives Matters.
Now, one of the architects of the AP course, in an interview to Time Magazine,has said that the narratives singled out for criticism by the DeSantis’ administration are not even part of the curriculum.
“Those narratives that they were singling out aren’t in the curriculum itself. What they see is buzzwords. They are picking on buzzwords that they know will inflame the hearts of some of their constituency. Communism was a buzzword in the 1950s against interracial marriage. If you were interracially married in the South, you became a communist. If people have political reasons for not wanting to see this [course], then no matter what arguments you give them, it won’t matter. So at this point, what I’m just interested in is stating what this course is and what we will do. And it’s exciting.”
-Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
The final framework of the proposed AP has been released in a 234-page course outline which leaves out reference to Black Lives Matter, Black Queer Studies, Black Feminist theory, slavery reparations and the works of well-known black social science theorist Angela Davis, Bell Hooks and Kimberle Crenshaw.
Governor Ros “Stop the WOKE Act” DeSantis claims the new AP African American Studies pushes “queer theory” and Critical Race theory which, he claims, are contrary to the spirit of Florida law and history.