Countering critical race theory opposition, Randolph Bracy pushes emancipation history bill

Randolph Bracy
Bracy says his emancipation bill has Republican leaders' support.

While critical race theory remains a hot topic, Democratic Sen. Randolph Bracy on Monday touted his Emancipation Day bill as the kind of Black history legislation Florida needs and the Legislature will get behind.

“I believe it pushed back on the (anti) critical race theory agenda proposal that is moving through the Legislature,” said Bracy, of Ocoee. “I think it’s very important that children know their history, especially the history of Emancipation Day in Florida.”

Bracy argued the Republican outrage and legislation being pushed to oppose critical race theory — which he and others say isn’t even being taught in Florida — is just an election-year strategy for Republicans to energize their political base.

“It is ridiculous,” he said.

Yet when it comes to specifics of Florida’s racial history, Bracy expressed confidence specific bills such as his are getting bipartisan support.

“I think that we’re talking about historical events that actually happened,” he said. “We need to inform our children what has happened, no matter how ugly our history is.”

His Emancipation Day Bill (SB 1500) would create special days of observance for Emancipation Day on May 20 — recognizing the date in 1865 when an announcement was made that slaves were emancipated in Florida nearly three years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation — and on June 19, when word got to Texas. The latter date has gained national significance and has come to be known as the informal holiday of Juneteenth.

The bill also would require at least one hour of high school history curriculum be focused on Emancipation Day.

“It is moving through the process. It just passed its last committee. It is going to the floor. And it will be sent to the Governor’s desk,” Bracy predicted.

Last Friday, the bill flew through its first committee stop in less than a minute, in the Senate Government Oversight and Accountability Committee. The measure prompted no debate, no questions and no opposition, winning a 6-0 approval.

Yet that might be the easy part.

There is no House counterpart for the proposal. And SB 1500 hasn’t yet been scheduled for its other two Senate stops, in the Education and Rules committees.

Bracy said Monday he’s looking to attach the bill to similar education bills likely to make it through, as he did two years ago with his similar, successful legislative effort to mandate public schools teach about the Ocoee racial massacre of 1920. He declined to be specific about which bill he might seek to piggy-back.

Bracy is a candidate this year for Congress, running in a crowded Democratic field for the open seat in Florida’s 10th Congressional District.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Ron Ogden

    February 14, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    Unlike 1619 and CRT, this piece of legislation does not seek to divide and conquer America. Hence, it moves quickly in a positive direction. It is a positive bill. CRT is the emblem of negativism and division and rightfully is finding its way to the back shelves of academia, where doddering professors can hold sacrifices to it in the drear darkness of their intellectual sanctuaries..

  • Ed

    February 14, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    There are several things that should be taught. The enslavement of people is wrong on many levels, morally, constitutionally, economically and many more. God created all equally and that is what should be taught. I am all about teaching these historically significant events and we should have a class just on the state constitution and the state bill of rights also.

    CRT is poison, I would like to read the bill first but it does not seem to be bad on the surface. Although I hate the fact that we have to codify these types of things, parents should be demanding this in our schools.

  • politics

    February 14, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    seriously they already learn Lincoln and all that.they even go critical thinking but I would not use the word critical

  • politics

    February 14, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    P.s I think this is about bias and discrimination courses. and meanwhile back at the farm genocide is happening.

Comments are closed.


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