AP African American History deserves a chance


Image created by Khadija Sissoko

Image depicts the importance of Black History Month and how schools should provide equitable instruction.

Khadija Sissoko, Staff Writer

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ ban on AP African American History is the cause of a downward spiral of events.

The banning of AP African American History and whitewashing of its curriculum is dangerous as it masks the truths of systematic racism and leaves black students with the impression that their lives and those of their ancestors are not valuable enough for the education system.

DeSantis claims that the reason for banning the course was that it “lacks educational value,” although its enriching units that focus on the Origins of the African Diaspora; Freedom, Enslavement and Resistance; the Practice of Freedom; and Movements and Debates; beg to differ.

According to National Public Radio, following DeSantis’s ban, College Board has since revised the course’s content by removing the Black Lives Matter Movement, names of Black scholars and writers involved with the critical race theory, slavery reparations, queer life and concepts like intersectionality and black feminism, therefore diminishing its previous value.

To claim that a course educating students on the contributions of African Americans “lacks educational value” is demeaning, to say the least because African Americans have been crucial to the upbringing of this country since it was first founded and continue to inspire today’s culture. The fact that AP African American History focuses on history within America makes it even more important. A course that Black students can connect to would only raise the enrollment of Black students in AP courses, considering they currently make up the lowest percentage at 9%, according to The Education Trust.

Through DeSantis’ weak argument, one could concur that his actions are backed by racist agendas as there was no concern or special reviews made by the governor for other AP courses.

On Feb. 20, 2023, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin hopped on the Republican bandwagon to announce that he will be reviewing the content of the course as it could conflict with his Executive Order 1, which restricts “inherently divisive concepts” and “critical race theory” from being taught in schools. Arkansas, North Dakota and Mississippi recently announced they will be reviewing the course as well, according to The Washington Post.

Youngkin claims that he isn’t trying to erase history, however, choosing to ignore how the government has discriminated against marginalized groups through unjust policies is an attempt within itself to prevent the truths of history from being told. 

70% of African American students reported that it is hard for people like them to be accepted at school, according to Durham Academy. With the education system being based upon a eurocentric perspective, it is no surprise that this is the case.

Removing equity and inclusion from the education system will only bring us back in social progress and continue the cycle of history repeating itself once again.