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Churches and community groups across Florida are throwing themselves into efforts to teach Black history after the state’s controversial move to reject AP African American Studies.
While Florida has pulled the College Board’s course, with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) calling it “indoctrination,” state residents are uniting in their churches, parks and homes to learn about the history of Black Americans, including drawing on material from books that have been removed from school shelves.
“I’m seeing it even with my own daughter who’s 17, a high school senior. She and some of her friends have talked about maybe just … reading on their own and just meeting here at her house or maybe her going to her friend’s house and just reading different books and talking about different books,” said Sharon D. Wright Austin, a professor of political science at the University of Florida.
The efforts began at the beginning of the year, when DeSantis, a 2024 White House hopeful, said he would not allow AP African American history in state schools. His administration took issue with topics in the curriculum such as intersectionality, Black queer studies, the Black Lives Matter movement, Black feminist literary thought, the reparations movement and “the Black Study and Black Struggle in the 21st Century.”