Curriculum Controversy: Are Florida Schools Whitewashing Black History?

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FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition on Nov. 19, 2022, in Las Vegas. DeSantis reiterated Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, that the state's rejection of a proposed nationwide advanced African American studies course, saying it pushes a political agenda — something three authors cited in the state's criticism accused him of doing in return. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
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Are Florida schools about to see a re-imagining of African-American history through an incorrect curriculum lens? In a unanimous vote, the state’s Board of Education approved standards, which to some seem to recast critical aspects of Black history.

Among the changes middle school students will be taught how slaves applied developed skills for personal benefit, raising eyebrows and questions about its implications.

Also causing concern are the alterations in high school teachings of 20th-century anti-Black violence. Notably, these lessons now emphasize acts of violence perpetrated against and by African-Americans. Critics argue that such framing could be misleading and is just lying, given that incidents such as the Ocoee Massacre were instigated by white mobs against Black communities.

Santaluces High School teacher Michael Woods stands in front of his school sign in Lantana, Fla., wearing his protest shirt “We Are All Human” in opposition to recent book bans by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on May 24, 2023. DeSantis is touting a series of measures he has pushed that have led to an upswing in banned or restricted books — not just in Florida schools but in an increasing number of other conservative states. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

These curriculum modifications echo the efforts of Governor Ron DeSantis to eliminate what he perceived as potentially distressing historical topics for students. Last year, his controversial Stop WOKE Act was struck down by a federal judge as a violation of the First Amendment. But DeSantis’ determination seems undeterred.


Click play to listen to the report from AURN White House Correspondent Ebony McMorris. For more news, follow @E_N_McMorris & @aurnonline.

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