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    DaveXA

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    Frankly, I'm completely ignorant when it comes to the Critical Race Theory curriculum. What is it, where does it come from, and is it legitimate? Has anyone here read it and maybe give a quick summary?

    If this has been covered in another thread, then I missed it.
     
    I absolutely did hear about white supremacy when I was a kid in the 80s in, yes, public school. We talked about it in American history when I was in high school and a bit about it in a history class in college. Didn't spend a lot of time on it, but enough to cover the basics.

    I stand by what I said tho. A lot of what passes for history is a whitewashed version of it.

    In 1980 I was a sophomore at Brother Martin. My history teacher (who was also the wrestling coach) was actually one of the best I've ever had. He was witty, funny and spent more than a few classes on white supremacy, the KKK and the Jim Crow era if memory serves.....
     
    Did you hear the phrase White supremacy while you were in elementary, Jr high or high school? I never did, but I did hear about racism and slavery.

    Your reply sounds an awful lot like:



    I don't think leaving out intersectionality, queer studies and Black Lives Matter is whitewashing history.


    If the revised framework for the Advanced Placement course in African American Studies had been the pilot program all along, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wouldn’t have objected and the proposal wouldn’t have become national news. But the College Board, which designs and administers AP classes and exams, felt the need to wave a red flag by including such “topics” as intersectionality, queer studies and Black Lives Matter in what should have ostensibly been a high-concept history class.

    Now, just three weeks after Florida education commissioner Manny Diaz said no to the proposed AP course, the College Board has pulled back on polarizing subjects and divisive authors like critical race theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw— which will now be available as areas for “independent research” alongside topics such as “black conservatism.”

    ...Indeed, DeSantis’s infamous “Stop WOKE Act,” which prohibits teaching critical race theory concepts in K-12 requires classroom instruction on “the history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition, and the history and contributions of African Americans of the African diaspora to society.”

    So when Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), on the day that Florida’s rejection hit the news, tweeted that “DeSantis wants to ban our history,” he was either misinformed or disingenuous.

    https://nypost.com/2023/02/04/revised-ap-african-american-studies-is-the-course-students-deserve/


    Great... so you tell us that DeSantis doesn't want to whitewash history education, then show us how DeSantis is whitewashing history education.

    Read the freaking sentence you bolded, for crying out loud.
     
    Interesting article. I first saw Roots in middle school in the late 80s. And I remember my mother telling me about when it first aired and how tense going to work was. I may get Hulu to watch this series
    ======================
    I am old enough to remember when Alex Haley’s “Roots” was first aired on television 46 years ago — and what happened afterward, at least where I lived.
“Roots” is the story of Haley’s family, its struggles, triumphs and its decades in slavery.

    The series aired over a week in January 1977. It led to fights in my school district. Black students, having not heard or seen or been taught any specific truths about our origins in America, directed their anger at White students and fights ensued.

    “Roots” was a shock to the system.
Keep in mind that “Roots” featured a tame version of slavery. It showed whippings. It showed Black children separated from their parents. It didn’t show the rapes by slave owners or the forced “breeding” of African people. It could not show the full scale of the depravity, emotional abuse, torment and murder that drove and sustained American chattel slavery.

    Nikole Hannah-Jones’s documentary series, “The 1619 Project,” which premiered last week on Hulu, doesn’t shy away from the full inhumanity of American slavery. It makes clear that Black Americans were treated no better and often worse than livestock.

    It confronts the fact that Black women were bred as if they were oxen. It reveals the full cruelty of American slavery and shows how Jim Crow by design broke African American psyches for decades. And, once more, people will be angry.

    And that’s what some White people are now worried about. In Florida and in other states, efforts are being made to stifle the teaching of Black American history. When Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) says, “No one should be instructed to feel as if they are not equal or shamed because of their race,” I believe he means White children.

    These people aren’t interested in racial harmony. And they certainly aren’t interested in Black children. Their continued campaign to discredit Hannah-Jones and the teaching of Black history is about two things: protecting White children — and preventing any initiative to help correct the actions of White ancestors that still afflict Black Americans today.


    Many White people watch programs like “The 1619 Project,” and see only a story about White people. That leads to another tragic misunderstanding of why this curriculum is so good for America…….

     
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently declared that it was a crime to teach the Advanced Placement (AP) African American studies course to Florida's high school students. The Republican claimed that African-American studies has no "educational value" and basically is some type of trojan horse and "mind virus" to indoctrinate young (white) people in woke ideology.

    DeSantis and his agents specifically targeted the AP African American studies course because it included gay and queer authors, the Black Lives Matter Movement, references to critical race theory, intersectionality and reparations.

    However packaged and massaged, DeSantis and his agents are communicating their belief that Black people don't have any "real" history that merits being taught at an advanced level in public schools, or anywhere else. This, however, is obviously not true.

    It is also the very definition of white supremacy and racism.

    DeSantis' latest attempt to purge Black history is insulting and dehumanizing to Black people. Such acts of erasure and othering are also a prelude to and encouragement for actual physical violence against Black people as well. [More African Americans were lynched in Florida on a per capita basis than in any other state in the country.] These efforts also assume that white people (and others invested in Whiteness) are dimwits too controlled by white racial fragility to be exposed to complex truths and facts about American society.

    What DeSantis and the other Republican fascists want is a country where white people are never made to feel uncomfortable.

    Moreover, these attacks are part of a national political project by Republicans. The strategy and tactics are being tested at the state level before being expanded across the country. Florida (along with Texas) is one of the main laboratories for this evil experiment. And predictably, the College Board, which administers the AP courses and exams surrendered to DeSantis' hostage-taking. Meanwhile, more than 24 states have tried to limit or ban critical race theory from the classroom, according to a tracking project by UCLA.

    There are large sums of money involved in selling the AP curriculum to America's schools. As Judd Legum of Popular Info notes, "right-wing criticism of the AP African American Studies course presents a financial threat. It needs more students than ever to enroll in AP courses" after many colleges and universities shifted to a test-optional admissions process during the pandemic. As such, the College Board surrendered — because profits matter more than principles.............

     
    What we are seeing isn't new at all
    ======================

    When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) blocked the first draft of an Advanced Placement African American studies course, he insisted he did not want to eliminate Black history, but only to control it. It might seem that his campaign has succeeded: The College Board announced a new watered-down curriculum that transformed resistance figures such as Frederick Douglass into “Black Conservatives,” even as they insisted the changes had nothing to do with political blowback.

    Yet history tells us these efforts to use Black history to teach a heroic story of White America probably won’t succeed in the long run. For more than a century, conservatives have tried to use history classes to infuse students with, in the words of one 1920s activist, “a patriotic and unswerving loyalty to our United States.” They’ve done this by insisting on a curriculum that twists and distorts the United States’ racial history, turning centuries of struggle and oppression into patriotic tales of American heroism. They fear that a more accurate narrative might diminish students’ love of country.

    The results have been poor. It has always been hard enough for students to learn basic facts about America’s past. By making it unacceptable to teach the truth of America’s racial history — even when the historical facts are unambiguous — conservatives have managed to ensure that students learn even less.

    As historians like Bethany Bell have pointed out, White Southerners tried to control history textbooks in the former Confederacy beginning almost as soon as the Civil War ended. In the 1920s, White conservatives in organizations such as the American Legion and the Ku Klux Klan expanded this campaign across the entire country. Leaders of both groups were aghast at the content of modern history textbooks, such as David Muzzey’s “An American History” (1917), which emphasized the importance of the first importation of enslaved Africans in 1619 and the “Horrors of the Slave Trade.” Mortified conservatives accused Muzzey of focusing too much on the centrality of conflict in America’s past. They charged him with fomenting “class hatred” and racial division.

    States such as Wisconsin, Oregon, New York and New Jersey passed laws or considered bills to ban books like Muzzey’s. The 1923 New Jersey bill stated that no textbook could be adopted that “belittles … noted American patriots” such as the slave-owning Thomas Jefferson or George Washington. If a book “questions the worthiness of their motives” it was not fit for students. In the eyes of conservatives in organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, American Legion and Ku Klux Klan, such questioning was anathema, a treasonous attack on America’s uniquely heroic past.

    The right didn’t only try to block and remove objectionable textbooks. They also produced one of their own, one that they hoped would “portray,” in the words of one ambitious conservative, “in colorful outline the heroic incidents” of U.S. history. Leaders of the American Legion contracted with Charles F. Horne, an English professor at City College of New York, to write this kind of American history textbook, one that aimed to inculcate the proper patriotism in students.

    Horne had an ambitious vision. His book endeavored to tell a heroic story of America that could unify White people north and south. It included Black history and difficult topics such as slavery and genocide — but in a skewed way. The “horrors” of the slave ships were acknowledged as “unspeakable,” but overall, Horne wrote, slavery was a benefit for Africans and a burden for White leaders. As he put it, “The blight of slavery fell less upon their race than on their masters.”

    To politicians hoping to capitalize on conservative angst about modern history textbooks, Horne’s book was a smashing success. In the words of Oregon’s Klan-backed Gov. Walter Pierce, “It is the finest history of early America that we have ever had.”

    Other readers, however, disagreed. One critic called it nothing but the “old moth-eaten, discredited, and dangerous” history, “the placing of the seal of unquestioning historical approval upon the thoughts and deeds of one’s ancestors.”.................


     
    What we are seeing isn't new at all
    ======================

    When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) blocked the first draft of an Advanced Placement African American studies course, he insisted he did not want to eliminate Black history, but only to control it. It might seem that his campaign has succeeded: The College Board announced a new watered-down curriculum that transformed resistance figures such as Frederick Douglass into “Black Conservatives,” even as they insisted the changes had nothing to do with political blowback.

    Yet history tells us these efforts to use Black history to teach a heroic story of White America probably won’t succeed in the long run. For more than a century, conservatives have tried to use history classes to infuse students with, in the words of one 1920s activist, “a patriotic and unswerving loyalty to our United States.” They’ve done this by insisting on a curriculum that twists and distorts the United States’ racial history, turning centuries of struggle and oppression into patriotic tales of American heroism. They fear that a more accurate narrative might diminish students’ love of country.

    The results have been poor. It has always been hard enough for students to learn basic facts about America’s past. By making it unacceptable to teach the truth of America’s racial history — even when the historical facts are unambiguous — conservatives have managed to ensure that students learn even less.

    As historians like Bethany Bell have pointed out, White Southerners tried to control history textbooks in the former Confederacy beginning almost as soon as the Civil War ended. In the 1920s, White conservatives in organizations such as the American Legion and the Ku Klux Klan expanded this campaign across the entire country. Leaders of both groups were aghast at the content of modern history textbooks, such as David Muzzey’s “An American History” (1917), which emphasized the importance of the first importation of enslaved Africans in 1619 and the “Horrors of the Slave Trade.” Mortified conservatives accused Muzzey of focusing too much on the centrality of conflict in America’s past. They charged him with fomenting “class hatred” and racial division.

    States such as Wisconsin, Oregon, New York and New Jersey passed laws or considered bills to ban books like Muzzey’s. The 1923 New Jersey bill stated that no textbook could be adopted that “belittles … noted American patriots” such as the slave-owning Thomas Jefferson or George Washington. If a book “questions the worthiness of their motives” it was not fit for students. In the eyes of conservatives in organizations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, American Legion and Ku Klux Klan, such questioning was anathema, a treasonous attack on America’s uniquely heroic past.

    The right didn’t only try to block and remove objectionable textbooks. They also produced one of their own, one that they hoped would “portray,” in the words of one ambitious conservative, “in colorful outline the heroic incidents” of U.S. history. Leaders of the American Legion contracted with Charles F. Horne, an English professor at City College of New York, to write this kind of American history textbook, one that aimed to inculcate the proper patriotism in students.

    Horne had an ambitious vision. His book endeavored to tell a heroic story of America that could unify White people north and south. It included Black history and difficult topics such as slavery and genocide — but in a skewed way. The “horrors” of the slave ships were acknowledged as “unspeakable,” but overall, Horne wrote, slavery was a benefit for Africans and a burden for White leaders. As he put it, “The blight of slavery fell less upon their race than on their masters.”

    To politicians hoping to capitalize on conservative angst about modern history textbooks, Horne’s book was a smashing success. In the words of Oregon’s Klan-backed Gov. Walter Pierce, “It is the finest history of early America that we have ever had.”

    Other readers, however, disagreed. One critic called it nothing but the “old moth-eaten, discredited, and dangerous” history, “the placing of the seal of unquestioning historical approval upon the thoughts and deeds of one’s ancestors.”.................


    Those who control the past, control the future.
     
    Those who control the past, control the future.
    now-testify-brad-wilk.gif
     
    Those who control the past, control the future.
    For some time now, conservative groups pressured libraries and classrooms to remove certain “controversial” books from their shelves and their syllabi.

    These are texts that tell uncomfortable or unpopular truths about our nation’s origins, including inequality, race, history, gender, sexuality, power and class – a range of subjects that a small but vocal group of Americans would prefer to ignore or deny.

    These efforts achieved one of their most notable successes last April when Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed the Stop Woke Act, which prohibits in-school discussions about racism, oppression, LBGTQ+ issues and economic inequity. Books that have not been officially vetted and approved must be hidden or covered, lest teachers unknowingly break an ill-defined law against distributing pornography – a felony.

    On 1 February, these pernicious restrictions on academic freedom spread beyond Florida, when the College Board announced its decision to severely restrict what can and cannot be taught in the newly created advanced placement class in African American studies.

    Cut from the curriculum (or in some cases made optional) was any discussion of Black Lives Matter, mass incarceration, police brutality, queer Black life, of the Black Power movements of the 1960s and 70s. Writers who have been removed from the reading list include bell hooks, Angela Davis and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

    These decisions are alarming and disturbing on so many levels that it’s hard to decide which aspect is the most damaging and insidious. At risk are our foundational principles of free speech, our conviction that educators – and not politicians – should be writing up our lesson plans and deciding what transpires in our classrooms, our belief that students can (and need to) consider complicated issues.

    As someone who has taught for decades, I can hardly imagine abruptly cutting off class discussions that have veered (as they inevitably will) into these nowforbidden areas. Must we fear that our students will report us as insurrectionists and felons for having mentioned the grotesque racial disparities in our prison populations?

    As someone who believes that education not only involves the transmission of hard information but also helps students to think for themselves, to weigh opposing arguments and to make informed decisions.

    How can these goals be accomplished when we are being told to (quite literally) whitewash our nation’s history, to deny that we are walking on appropriated land in a country built by kidnapped and enslaved people, when we are being encouraged to lie about the very ground beneath our feet?

    Students aren’t as stupid as the Florida legislature seems to think, and by adopting these new regulations, we are only encouraging them to distrust their teachers and the system that so blatantly misrepresents the realities they so clearly observe around them.

    In the past, authoritarianism – and the indoctrination that sustains it – have used educational systems to further its agenda. We can recall images of first graders wearing little red kerchiefs and saluting the Eastern bloc dictators, of students let out of class to welcome the Fuhrer to town.

    We know that democracy depends on the free and open exchange of ideas, on conversations that begin early in the life of its citizens – and that fascism thrives when only one point of view is permitted. DeSantis’ rulings, and the campaigns that have engendered them, are inherently anti-democratic……..

     
    Keziah Ridgeway says teaching African American history is about “being the teacher that I never had”. The Philadelphia public high school teacher remembers growing up learning a “sanitized” version of Black history: MLK, Rosa Parks, maybe Malcolm X. It wasn’t until she pursued a degree in history and “began to read everything I could get my hands on” that she realized how much she had been missing. “African American history, when taught correctly, creates critical thinkers. And it creates children who question: ‘Why are things the way that they are in society?’”

    Offered in some form at most US colleges and universities, African American studies – an interdisciplinary field that examines the history, culture and politics of Black Americans – isn’t always found in high school curriculums.

    That could change soon thanks to a new advanced placement (AP) exam by the College Board, the country’s largest standardized test company.

    High schools are incentivized to offer their AP courses because many colleges and universities grant students credit for passing marks on AP exams. But few AP courses have been as divisive as this one.

    AP African American studies is the product of nearly a decade of work by the College Board, prominent African American studies scholars and high school educators. A pilot version of the course is being taught by 60 teachers across the country, and the exam won’t officially launch until 2025.

    But it became a heated national controversy last month after Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, vowed to block schools from teaching the course, saying it violated state law and “significantly lacks educational value”.

    The Florida education department then cited examples in the pilot of what it termed “woke indoctrination” that would run afoul of recently passed Florida laws that clamp down on class discussions about racism…..,,

     
    Even as lessons on Black history draw complaints from Republican governors, who argue the instruction is ideological, several blue states are moving in the opposite direction — mandating classes in African American, Latino and Puerto Rican studies — and setting up a uniquely American division over how we teach our past.

    Since 2019, partly in response to the murder of George Floyd, at least four reliably Democratic states — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine and Rhode Island — have passed laws requiring instruction on Black history, according to a database maintained by the research agency Education Commission of the States. Connecticut’s law says African American, Puerto Rican and Latino studies must be included in the social studies component of all public school curriculums. Delaware’s mandates that school districts offer instruction on Black history.

    Maine’s says that African American studies and the history of genocide must be included in state testing standards. And Rhode Island’s orders schools to include a unit on African History and Heritage.

    In the past three years, an additional seven states have passed laws establishing K-12 courses in ethnic studies or on Native American, Asian American or Filipino history, per the Education Commission’s database.

    Meanwhile, Republican state governors and administrations spent the weeks leading up to Black History Month this year interrogating how, or if, teachers should discuss aspects of race, racism and American history in the classroom.

    In Virginia, state education officials appointed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) proposed shifting the focus of a state history curriculum away from Black and Native peoples in a revision process that is ongoing. In Arkansas, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a January executive order barring teachers from delivering certain messages about race. And in Florida which has already passed restrictive laws similar to the Arkansas orderGov. Ron DeSantis (R) flayed a proposed AP African American studies course, after which the College Board altered that curriculum to exclude lessons on Black Lives Matter. Eighteen state laws similarly circumscribing what teachers can say about race and the country’s history of race relations have taken effect over the last three years, per a tally compiled by The Washington Post.

    In other places, the adoption of courses focused on Black and Brown lives is exciting some young students of color. Alana Lilley, a 16-year-old African American student in Connecticut, was quick to sign up for her state’s new history elective last year, astonished to see a course devoted to people who look like her. In class, she was startled to learn about the lives of Black royalty in Africa before slavery — and how that society’s regal traditions influenced European culture, when she always believed it was the other way around.

    “I had underestimated how strong we were because of what I was taught,” Lilley said. “So it made me look at us as more powerful than I ever thought we were.”...........


     
    Good article/interview
    ========================

    In 1925, teachers at the Negro Manual and Training High School of Muskogee, Oklahoma, made what they thought was an appropriate choice of textbook: The Negro in Our History, by the Harvard-trained Black historian Carter G. Woodson. Woodson had written this "history of the United States as it has been influenced by the presence of the Negro" to supply the "need of schools long since desiring such a work," as he wrote in the book's preface.

    Upon learning of this textbook choice, White segregationists on the school board sprang immediately into action. They decreed that no book could be “instilled in the schools that is either klan or antiklan,” insinuating that Woodson’s Black history textbook was “antiklan."

    The school board banned the book. It confiscated all copies. It punished the teachers. It forced the resignation of the school’s principal. “It’s striking how similar that feels and sounds to the contemporary moment,” the Harvard education historian Jarvis R. Givens told me.

    A century ago, white segregationists were banning anti-racist books and “Negro studies” as well as punishing and threatening anti-racist educators all over Jim Crow America.

    In response to these incidents, Woodson embarked on a new initiative to support educators and promote Negro history. In 1926, he founded Negro History Week, which officially became Black History Month 50 years later. And Woodson’s most important scholarly contribution, his 1933 book, The Mis-education of the Negro, highlighted the importance of teaching Black history.

    The book argued that Black children learn to despise themselves—just as non-Black people learn to hate Black people—when Black history is not taught. As Woodson wrote, “There would be no lynching if it did not start in the schoolroom.” Combining pedagogical theory, history, and memoir, this was a book about the dangerously racist state of education, a book for 2023 as much as it was for 1933.

    The Mis-education of the Negro was recently reissued with an introduction from Givens, who studies the history of American education and has written extensively on Black educators, including Carter G. Woodson. Givens helped develop the AP African American Studies course that was piloted in about 60 schools across the United States and recently rejected in Florida. We discussed the enduring relevance and power of this classic book 90 years after its birth.

    This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

    Ibram X. Kendi: For the past two years, many politicians and political operatives have made the case that teaching white students about African American history, about slavery, about racism, makes them feel bad or is even a form of miseducation. But these operatives do not seem to care about the educational experience of Black children. I’m curious what Carter G. Woodson would say about the impact on Black children of not teaching that material. What is Woodson saying in Mis-education?

    Jarvis R. Givens: He argues that the physical violence Black people experience in the world is inextricably linked to curricular violence. He would say Black students must be equipped with resources to resist this violation of their dignity and humanity; they must be given an opportunity to know themselves and the world on new terms. To deny Black students the opportunity to critically study Black life and culture is to deny them the opportunity to think outside of the racial myths that are deeply embedded in the American curriculum.

    Kendi: It seems like this book could have just as easily been titled The Mis-education of the American.

    Givens: The overrepresentation of European and Euro American history and culture offers white people this kind of inflated sense of importance. Woodson would say that this has historically been part and parcel of the identity development of white students, or any other group who is taught to look down on and despise Black people as a means of propping themselves up. There are several parts in the book when Woodson points to this miseducation of non-Black people—especially when he writes, “There would be no lynching if it did not start in the schoolroom.”.................

     
    So, when Nazi’s want to speak on college campuses, and people on the left protest and try to get the talks cancelled, Rs get all free speech sanctimonious. But now they want to outlaw a legitimate theory from college campuses? The outright forking hypocrisy is breathtaking.

     
    An English professor at a Florida Christian university may lose his job after a complaint from a parent that he was “indoctrinating” students with a unit on racial justice.

    Professor Samuel Joeckel has been a professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University for 20 years, he told The Independent, 12 of which included classes featuring material on racial justice without incident.

    Then, he says, on 15 February, he found the provost and dean of the school of liberal arts and sciences waiting outside his classroom. They informed him his non-tenure contract was under review and could be terminated.

    “He said that the concern was that I was ‘indoctrinating student,’” Professor Joeckel said via email, recounting an exchange with the dean. “He said the president of the university received an angry phone call from a parent of a student. He ended the meeting by saying that he had to leave in order to prepare for the arrival of Ron DeSantis on campus for a speaking engagement.”

    The Independent has contacted Palm Beach Atlantic University for comment.

    Professor Joeckel said he included discussions of racial justice across a few different courses, including Composition 2, a freshman writing course, and an upper-level honours class called “The World of Despair and Hope.” Another course, during 2022, was called “Defeating Racism.”

    A course syllabus shared with The Independentshows a variety of touchstone texts from important figures in US history, like Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and Malcom X’s “Ballot or Bullet” speech.

    “The main purpose of my unit on racial justice is for students to critically reflect on moments in history, texts, and data that have shaped and continue to shape discussions of race and racism in the United States,” Professor Joeckel said of the materials. “Students are not told what to think about these materials; they come to their own conclusions.”

    The professor, whose work has appeared across a variety of secular and religious academic journals, said he felt his academic freedom was under attack and risked losing his job without due process. He accused the university of betraying its values-based mission by being “complacent” on an important topic like race.

    “Things like this do not happen in a vacuum,” he continued. “There is a reason why PBA is threatening me now rather than five years ago or ten years ago. PBA is conforming to a toxic political culture, and they are playing a role that is a part of that culture’s script: a role that says, ‘We do not like to have uncomfortable conversations about race.’”……..



     
    I really do hope that these professors and teachers who are being silenced on teaching true history start taking to social media to reach their students outside of the confines of people like DeSantis and the Republican party. Call them the liars that they are with their false claims about CRT. Flood social media with information that they are trying to keep people from learning.
     
    When it came time for Emmitt Glynn to teach the lesson on the Black Panthers in his AP African American Studies class, he says he was overcome with “fear” walking into his classroom at Baton Rouge Magnet High School on Feb. 17.

    The school has been fielding so many media requests about Glynn’s class that administrators set up a day for the press to come see the curriculum in action.

    Baton Rouge Magnet High is one of 60 pilot schools testing out the College Board’s newest Advanced Placement course, which is designed to offer college-level instruction to high school students. Glynn was worried about the reaction to one element of the AP African American Studies class’s lesson on civil rights history: having students read the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Program.

    Required reading for the course, the 1966 document demanded equal opportunities for housing, the end of police brutality, and the release of Black people from jails because they didn’t get fair and impartial trials.

    The lesson came about a month after the Florida Department of Education rejected the AP African American Studies class and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called it “indoctrination.” Shortly after, it was revealed that the agency asked the College Board last fall, “Does the course promote Black Panther thinking?” The Black Panthers have been long smeared as violent and communist.

    “I really struggled,” Glynn says, describing what was going through his head prior to the class. “I’ve never experienced something like that in my teaching in 29 years, having to feel I had to take careful steps with a subject because it might make people upset.”

    The class also happened to fall on the same day that local reporters, including TV news crews, came to interview Glynn and some of his students about the class. Reporters didn’t see that part of the lesson, but instead saw Glynn teach about Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” The subsequent coverage resulted in no local scandal in Louisiana’s capital city and no national controversy.

    Glynn’s press conference is perhaps an extreme example of how AP African American Studies teachers say they’re working hard to prevent the controversy over the class from disrupting their students’ education. Teachers from Texas to New England tell TIME that they can’t ignore the news around AP African American Studies.

    Many say, though, that DeSantis’s objections to the course have only made their students more engaged. Austin Sparks, who is teaching the class in the Cleveland area, turned the controversy into a teachable moment. He and his students discussed parallels between Florida’s decision to ban the course, and lessons they had already covered, including material they previously covered, like Jim Crow laws, which legalized racial discrimination.

    “Students were throwing up their hands left and right, making connections to what we’ve learned so far” about the fight for equal educational opportunities for Black Americans, Sparks says.

    Two schools in Florida stopped the pilot mid-year after DeSantis spoke out against the class in mid-January. The course is more than a decade in the making, but launched in the fall of 2021 in large part as a response to the murder of George Floyd, so that high school students wouldn’t have to wait until college to learn about police brutality and other issues affecting the Black community in historical context. In the second phase of the pilot program, slated for next year, students will have the opportunity to earn college credit for the course if they pass the Advanced Placement test.............

     
    When it came time for Emmitt Glynn to teach the lesson on the Black Panthers in his AP African American Studies class, he says he was overcome with “fear” walking into his classroom at Baton Rouge Magnet High School on Feb. 17.

    The school has been fielding so many media requests about Glynn’s class that administrators set up a day for the press to come see the curriculum in action.

    Baton Rouge Magnet High is one of 60 pilot schools testing out the College Board’s newest Advanced Placement course, which is designed to offer college-level instruction to high school students. Glynn was worried about the reaction to one element of the AP African American Studies class’s lesson on civil rights history: having students read the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Program.

    Required reading for the course, the 1966 document demanded equal opportunities for housing, the end of police brutality, and the release of Black people from jails because they didn’t get fair and impartial trials.

    The lesson came about a month after the Florida Department of Education rejected the AP African American Studies class and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called it “indoctrination.” Shortly after, it was revealed that the agency asked the College Board last fall, “Does the course promote Black Panther thinking?” The Black Panthers have been long smeared as violent and communist.

    “I really struggled,” Glynn says, describing what was going through his head prior to the class. “I’ve never experienced something like that in my teaching in 29 years, having to feel I had to take careful steps with a subject because it might make people upset.”

    The class also happened to fall on the same day that local reporters, including TV news crews, came to interview Glynn and some of his students about the class. Reporters didn’t see that part of the lesson, but instead saw Glynn teach about Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” The subsequent coverage resulted in no local scandal in Louisiana’s capital city and no national controversy.

    Glynn’s press conference is perhaps an extreme example of how AP African American Studies teachers say they’re working hard to prevent the controversy over the class from disrupting their students’ education. Teachers from Texas to New England tell TIME that they can’t ignore the news around AP African American Studies.

    Many say, though, that DeSantis’s objections to the course have only made their students more engaged. Austin Sparks, who is teaching the class in the Cleveland area, turned the controversy into a teachable moment. He and his students discussed parallels between Florida’s decision to ban the course, and lessons they had already covered, including material they previously covered, like Jim Crow laws, which legalized racial discrimination.

    “Students were throwing up their hands left and right, making connections to what we’ve learned so far” about the fight for equal educational opportunities for Black Americans, Sparks says.

    Two schools in Florida stopped the pilot mid-year after DeSantis spoke out against the class in mid-January. The course is more than a decade in the making, but launched in the fall of 2021 in large part as a response to the murder of George Floyd, so that high school students wouldn’t have to wait until college to learn about police brutality and other issues affecting the Black community in historical context. In the second phase of the pilot program, slated for next year, students will have the opportunity to earn college credit for the course if they pass the Advanced Placement test.............

    MLK Jr. has, unfortunately, to a degree, become an acceptable Black man to the racists. This means he is less threatening. It reminds me of the book “People Love Dead Jews”. If someone is deemed non-threatening that is OK. The bigotry or racism doesn’t apply or at least not as much.
     

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