The widespread outcry came from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' controversial updates to the Black history lesson curriculum statewide. The curriculum included a statement that "slaves developed skills which, in some instances, can be applied for their personal benefit," leading to criticism from students, parents, educators, and officials.
Educators, parents, students, and activists formed a non-profit coalition called the Miami Center for Racial Justice to protest the curriculum and raise awareness about the erasure of Black history from classrooms. They have organized rallies and teaching tours at historical sites in Florida to counter the misconceptions they believe are being taught.
The coalition emphasizes the importance of experiencing the historical sites where events occurred to make history meaningful and not just a catalog of facts. One such tour took place in Rosewood, Florida, where a prosperous Black community was destroyed by a white mob in 1923.
Educators like Juana Jones expressed concerns about this significant change in teaching about slavery. They believe that students should learn the truth about the nation's history and form their own opinions. Marvin Dunn, a professor and activist, warned against the potential for a resurgence of anti-race violence and stressed the importance of educating people about the truth to avoid repeating history.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has defended the curriculum, particularly the notion that slavery benefited Black Americans, arguing that it highlights resourcefulness and skills acquired despite slavery.
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