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Rejecting African American Study: Flawed Argument

Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis rejected a new advanced placement course in African American studies from being taught on high school campuses. His argument? That the course violates state law and “lacks educational value.” This ignorant argument could not be any further from the truth.

African American studies courses have much to offer high school students, regardless of race or background. They chronicle the oppression of African Americans, their liberation, and all the hard-fought battles in between. Here is why it is so essential for this course to be made available to our youth and why government officials should reconsider their position on the matter:

The beauty of African American studies courses is that they bring attention to a history that has been largely ignored in traditional curriculums. It brings to light stories of Black excellence, perseverance, and resilience—all traits that should be applauded by all students regardless of race or background. It also serves as an opportunity for students to learn about different perspectives, cultures, and ideas that may differ from their own. This knowledge can lead to greater understanding between different backgrounds and create more meaningful connections with others.

In addition, these courses provide important context into current issues such as police brutality and systemic racism—issues that have become mainstream topics in recent years but have been around since long before now. Through learning about past events, students can gain insight into how those events have shaped modern-day society and what can be done to address some of today's most pressing problems, like racial injustice and inequality within our communities.

Furthermore, having a comprehensive education on Black history will help ensure that our nation's history is remembered accurately rather than being erased or swept under the rug due to its uncomfortable nature for some people. Allowing African American studies courses on high school campuses would enable us to reshape how we view Black history and how we teach it—not as something shameful or unimportant but as something integral in understanding our shared past as Americans.

The rejection of African American studies courses by DeSantis is a misguided attempt at avoiding difficult conversations about inequality and racism in our country. It denies students access to knowledge about important figures such as Harriet Tubman or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., information which can be used both inside and outside of the classroom walls to inspire future generations of young minds looking for guidance when navigating tumultuous times such as these we currently live in today.

Politicians must understand this importance if they want our nation’s future leaders to make informed decisions based on historical facts rather than allowing ignorance to prevail over knowledge, as it has done in too many instances already throughout history.

Political leaders must reconsider their decision if they are serious about ensuring everyone receives an equal education regardless of race or background. Doing so will open doors for many more opportunities for future generations across America who are eager to learn more about their country’s unique past while preparing themselves better for its uncertain future ahead of them all together!

Dr. Pam Gurley is an accomplished author, CEO, podcaster, professor, professional speaker and businesswoman. Her ultimate objective: Work every day to change how Black women are perceived.

Listen to Dr. Pam as she is interviewed by Bob Gatty on the Lean to the Left Podcast.

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