Blocked AP Black studies class draws Kamala Harris’ derision
Kamala Harris heads to Miami.

'Anyone who bans teaching American history has no right to shape America’s future.'

Republican efforts at rolling back the state’s abortion rights brought Vice President Kamala Harris to Tallahassee Sunday where she also panned the state’s move to block a course on African American studies.

The state’s Jan. 12 letter to the College Board declaring an Advanced Placement class “contrary to Florida law” has turned a national spotlight on legislation passed last year (HB 7) that bans instruction that makes people feel uncomfortable based on their race, gender or ethnicity. The decision has state Democratic lawmakers demanding a meeting with Department of Education officials and one lawmaker saying it may have violated Florida law.

Harris spoke about the decision to keep high school students from earning college credit through the course with House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell and Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book, according to a White House pool report.

Harris addressed the controversy and took aim at Gov. Ron DeSantis without naming him.

“Every student in our nation should be able to learn about the culture, contributions, and experiences of all Americans – including Black Americans – who shaped our history,” Harris said, according to a White House official. “Unfortunately, in Florida, extremist so-called leaders ban books, block history classes, and prevent teachers from freely discussing who they are and who they love.”

Harris seemed to urge DeSantis to give up his highly expected run for the White House: “Anyone who bans teaching American history has no right to shape America’s future.”

DeSantis was on the friendly Fox News Channel’s “Unfiltered with Dan Bongino” Saturday night addressing the African American studies controversy that’s appeared in almost every national news outlet. The Governor sounded a theme some say is designed to burnish his conservative bonafides with conservative voters in the presidential primaries.

“Higher education, though, we believe in Florida it’s about academic excellence and the pursuit of truth,” DeSantis said. “We don’t believe higher education should be for ‘social justice’ or to impose an ideology on students. And so that’s a different approach than most colleges right now in our country.”

DeSantis called himself a trailblazer.

“So, we’re really excited to be taking on these issues when not many people have been willing to do this,” he said on Saturday’s program. “We’re doing it in Florida.”

The state Department of Education has not answered live questions from reporters about the issue, but the DOE put out a statement after 5 p.m. Friday saying that the teaching of Black history has been expanded in recent years. The AP course on African American studies was blocked due to six areas of concern, according to a graphic chart Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. tweeted.

Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani, representing the Orlando area, derided the chart’s six points, according to a reply posted to Diaz’s tweet: “You should take this class. Maybe if you did you would realize how absurd this graphic is.”

Florida Politics’ A.G. Gancarski contributed reporting.


Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • He’s mad

    January 22, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Ron’s just mad some union soldier killed his great grandfather in the war lol

  • TJC

    January 22, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    So DeSantis says higher education is about “the pursuit of truth.”
    Apparently he means pursuit as in hunt it down and kill it.
    Fortunately for the truth, DeSantis is quite unfamiliar with it and wouldn’t recognize it if he saw it with his own beady little eyes.

    • Dems are ALL groomers

      January 23, 2023 at 3:18 pm

      You leftist scum don’t get to indoctrinate children in Florida. Oh, so sorry groomer, not sorry.

  • Richard Bruce

    January 22, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    The course isn’t in question, but the content.

  • Dems are ALL groomers

    January 23, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    Leftist scum hide behind the facade that anything to do with black can’t be opposed. Governor DeSantis sees through that garbage. Oh, you can’t pull a man over for speeding, he be black! Oh, you can’t oppose a democrap candidate, she be black! Oh, you can’t oppose a communist inspired, pro-tran propaganda agenda because we be black! Oh, yes he can! And he does!

  • martin

    January 26, 2023 at 10:58 am

    As usual, the low IQ crowd has not bothered to read the syllabus. Try it sometime, and you might agree with Desantis. It is not education, it is silliness.

Comments are closed.


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