Black Florida lawmakers support NAACP travel boycott of state
Catch and release: Dianne Hart is working on a program to grant early parole for certain prison inmates.

Members said a travel advisory was an important way to force change.

Black lawmakers in the Florida Legislature are backing calls by the NAACP to boycott the state.

The Florida Legislative Black Caucus held a vote to stand with the civil rights group, even after the NAACP issued a travel advisory discouraging tourism to the state

“The Florida Legislative Black Caucus strongly opposes Gov. Ron DeSantis’ restricted discussions on race, gender expressions and sexuality, laws authorizing numerous book bans in schools, defunding of diversity, equity and inclusion programs at Florida public colleges, prohibition of health care for the transgender community and legislation allowing gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a permit,” reads a statement from the group.

“We are deeply concerned with the civil rights and safety of our constituents based on the Governor’s political ambitions and divisiveness.”

Rep. Dianne Hart, a Tampa Democrat and the Caucus Chair, said a vote was taken Tuesday on a conference call.

Of note, the Legislature currently includes four Black Republicans, though only one remains a dues-paying member of the caucus, and none are active in the group, Hart said.

The travel advisory has drawn fire from Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, a former House member who was part of the caucus before his election to federal office.

“You know, yesterday, when the Miami Heat … were beating down the Celtics last night in Miami, TNT was showing footage of different boats in the water and on a bunch of these different boats of Black people having a good time out on the water,” Donalds told Fox News. “I don’t even know what the NAACP is talking about. This is silly and it’s dumb. It’s political. It makes no sense.”

But the caucus statement makes its members believe the advisory is justified.

“We stand in solidarity with the NAACP’s travel advisory. The formal travel notice states, ‘Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color,’” the statement reads.

“We will not stand by and remain mute as Gov. DeSantis and his supporters continue to put forward dangerous policies that are rooted in extremism and lack sound reasoning. People of color need to recognize our labor, time, and monies as a major resource to this state, and reject the whitewashing of our contributions to this country, the whitewashing of the powerful stories of our rich backgrounds, and the whitewashing of our continued struggles. We feel it’s only fair and appropriate to continue to shed light on the inequalities and disservice that people of color are facing in the state of Florida.”

The caucus in particular took issues with bans on critical race theory and attacks on an AP African American History course.

“Misrepresenting the reality of our history promotes ignorance and apathy. Black and Brown history is American history,” the statement reads.

“We have a responsibility to provide Floridians with an accurate and complete education on the history of our country — the good and the bad — and this kind of systemic erasure and disenfranchisement has no place in a functioning democracy. Providing Floridians with a holistic account of our nation’s history is not about ‘wokeness,’ it is a matter of being transparent.”

The group said actions like the travel advisory were important to demand a change in policy by the state.

“As we seek to educate the next generation of leaders, being transparent about our nation’s history and including all perspectives will lead to compassionate, rigorous, and truthful educational experiences,” the statement closed.

“The actions of the Governor are in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon. Our rich heritage deserves to be acknowledged, celebrated, and provided with the opportunity to thrive. We demand better from Gov. DeSantis and his supporters.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Cryin bryon

    May 23, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    Donald’s sounds like he was happy at the back of the bus.

  • WhatNow

    May 23, 2023 at 6:22 pm

    Now that some “minority”-representing organizations have made their position statements exceedingly clear, their constituents need to STOP voting against their own best interests. But seeing as this *is* FloriDuh we’re yacking about here, the liklihood of that ever happening is probably pretty slim… better to keep voting *against* one’s own best interests so as to make it that much easier to just keep playing the victim, yes?

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 24, 2023 at 9:12 am

      Who are you talking about? Replacement theory MAGAs voting Republican so unarmed brownish gay trans queer people don’t take away their jobs and guns and whiteness? Agree!

  • PeterH

    May 23, 2023 at 7:22 pm

    As reported in newspapers across the USA this travel ban has widespread support. Hopefully the NAACP will be joined by many other groups.

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 24, 2023 at 8:10 am

    NAACP should enact a 6 week Florida travel advisory. That would make everything just fine over in Rhonda Consent Ration Camp.

  • CelandineEmberly

    May 24, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    My Companion mother makes 50 bucks an hour on the PC.She has been out of w0rk for quite some time red however last month her check was 11k bucks only w0rking on the PC for 9 hours per day.
    For more detail visit this article

  • Keystone Keys

    May 24, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    It is only proper for perpetually aggrieved members to leave Florida to show inverse support for this.

Comments are closed.


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