BREAKING: Human Rights Campaign on the College Board Caving to the Will of Extremist Conservatives like Ron DeSantis by Censoring African American Studies Curriculum

by HRC Staff

'Censoring Black and Queer History Does Not Create a Stronger Nation'

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the College Board released a revised curriculum for its new Advanced Placement course in African American Studies, which attempts to erase Black history by stripping out the names of many Black writers and scholars associated with critical race theory, the Black queer experience, and Black feminism. Other topics, like the Black Lives Matter movement, are now optional.

The College Board’s decision came after heavy criticism from extremist conservatives like Governor Ron DeSantis, who refused to allow the curriculum in Florida’s schools. DeSantis has also pushed to ban the education of critical race theory and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs in state colleges. Last year, DeSantis signed the “Stop WOKE” act (HB 7), legislation limiting protected speech in workplaces and classrooms by censoring honest dialogue about systemic racism, gender, and race discrimination. The legislation also changed Florida’s employment discrimination statutes to give employees the ability to file discrimination claims against an employer engaging in trainings or discussions about Black history, LGBTQ+ issues, and other concepts of injustice and discrimination. He also championed HB 1557/SB 1834, which became known as the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law, which prohibits teachers from acknowledging that LGBTQ+ people exist at all in lower grades and chilling the ability of educators or students to discuss LGBTQ+ issues or history in upper grades.

Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson issued the following statement in response to the College Board’s announcement today, on the first day of Black History Month:

“We have seen this before. Censoring Black and queer history does not create a stronger nation. It is one of the oldest ways society has tried to vilify and suppress marginalized voices. This dangerous practice has always been used by those who want to stunt progress, sow fear and division, and hide important truths. Black History is American History. Black Queer History is American History. Period.

We cannot cave to the will of extremist conservatives like Ron DeSantis who are trying to whitewash history and use the power of the government to punish, erase, or attack anyone he disagrees with, including the Black and LGBTQ+ communities. We will continue to fight to ensure all students have access to an education that broadens their perspective, helps them learn and grow, and allows them to see themselves in their school’s curriculum and society.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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