TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In the latest chapter in the back and forth between civil rights leaders, the College Board and the state's education department, demonstrators marched Monday in Tallahassee in a “Save Our History” rally to push back on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration’s opposition to an AP African American Studies course.
DeSantis has called some of the materials in the course politically motivated and “indoctrination."
“If you look, there’s things about intersectionality, about abolishing prisons, that is a political agenda and on the wrong side of our standards,” DeSantis previously said.
Lawmakers were on the steps of the state capitol calling for a change in policy.
“We intend to stand every single day in unity until AP history is back in our schools, as it should be,” Rep. Diane Hart said
The governor contends the opposition that his administration has to consider certain aspects of the course isn’t a suppression of black history.
"Our education standards not only don't prevent, but they require teaching black history. All the important things. That's part of our core curriculum. This was a separate course on top of that for advanced placement credit," DeSantis said.
During Monday's rally, people say the state is trying to dictate Black history on "their" terms.
"They are saying no, no, no, we'll have Black history. But for them to write Black history, and decide Black history is a national standard that we cannot allow to happen," Rev. Al Sharpton said.
The current conversation highlights why this topic matters across communities.
"In a country where race has so influenced the way we developed, it is important to understand how it developed," Rik Stevenson, a professor at the University of Florida, said.
DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education maintain the materials in the AP African American Studies course are part of an agenda.
"In Florida, we do education, not indoctrination,” DeSantis said.
10 Tampa Bay reached out to the Florida Department of Education to ask if the College Board's recently updated framework was in compliance with state law. A spokesperson said the College Board has still not submitted the official framework for review.