ALEXIA MCKAY, PRESIDENT OF THE TAMPA BAY ASSOCIATION OF BLACK JOURNALISTS.
By: Richard Prince, Journal-isms
“Without a detailed explanation, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has rejected a new Advanced Placement course on African American studies for high school students, broadly claiming it violates state law and that it ‘lacks educational value,’ ” Ana Ceballos reported for the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times.
“When asked for specifics on the content, the Florida Department of Education did not respond, making it unclear what items the state believes are unlawful or objectionable.
“‘In the future, should College Board be willing to come back to the table with lawful, historically accurate content, FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion,’ the state wrote in a letter to the College Board, the company that administers the course as well as other interdisciplinary courses and the SAT exam.
“The Advanced Placement program is the first course in African American studies to be offered by the College Board. It would allow high school students to earn credits and advanced placement at many colleges across the country.
“The course has been in development for more than a decade, and it focuses not just on history, but explores the ‘vital contributions and experiences of African Americans’ in literature, the arts, political science, geography, and science, according to the College Board. A syllabus is not yet publicly available. . . .”
Responding to an inquiry, Alexia McKay, (pictured), president of the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists, messaged Journal-isms that rejecting such a course would be a mistake.
“African American history was taught at my high school in Tampa. Although the education was limited, the access and resources to it was still there. To know the possibility of Black kids in Florida being denied that access, is tragic and unjust. African American culture is rich in resilience, accomplishments and achievements that stem beyond Black History Month. It’s also full of lessons and wisdom that people of all races can learn from. It’s a huge part of American history that should not be lost in our education systems, that should not be lost or forgotten.
“Additionally, as a journalist of color, part of our responsibility is to be the griot (storyteller) of our community. It will be more important than ever for Black journalists, especially in Florida, to use their platform to spread awareness and knowledge as book banning and CRT (critical race theory) become more and more frequent occurrences in our education system.”
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Photo Credit: EdWeb.