By Linda M. Thigpen
Who are you? If you don’t know, then anyone can tell you!
The audacity of the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, to decry that African Americans Studies and (by extension) his African American constituents don’t have value. Well thankfully, we are not defined by who people say we are, but by what we say we are. So, what are we telling ourselves?
It is critical for each of us to lift our voices individually and collectively pushing back on anything and anyone that contradicts our definition of ourselves. In so doing, join a campaign letting the Governor know that we desire the African American Studies Advance Placement course be allowed in the selection process as an option for dually enrolled high school students. Submitted for your edification and the Governor’s consideration, please find our letter to Governor DeSantis expressing sentiments on behalf of the members of Broward County National Congress of Black Women, Inc.
Disclosures: Linda M. Thigpen is a Guest Columnist of the Westside Gazette, a Pembroke Pines, Precinct Committeewoman and a Member of the Broward County Chapter of the National Congress of Black Women.
January 20, 2023
National Congress of Black Women, Inc., Broward County Chapter P. O Box 100457, Lauderdale, FL 33310
The Honorable Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida State of Florida The Capitol
400 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399
This correspondence is to express and communicate our immense displeasure of your objection to African American Studies Advance Placement (AP) course as an option for Florida high school students. Your assertions to the College Board denying its admission as an AP course selection stated, “As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.” Bringing the program to a halt has hindered students’ educational advancement and has robbed them of a heightened awareness of American History. Notwithstanding, your denial has silenced voices and has negated the comprehensive, extensive, and collective feedback of teachers, students and policy holders involved in creating it.
While you implied that African American History and our culture were unworthy of studying, you had no issues with studying the history of Europe, China or Japan, which nine out of 30 current AP courses are focused. Because you did not specify or further explain what components of the AP course violated state law and lacked educational value, we are not able to pin-point your specific critique and thereby provide an intelligent opposing view to address them. There is, however, some speculation that your objections targeted alleged topics of Critical Race Theory and content relating to contributions of Black Queer Americans as violating Florida law. Please note that we only ascribe to a fact-based, true and accurate accounting of history–regardless to those contributing to it, or in what manner it makes one feel. Therefore, revisions to the current African American Studies course “to water it down” to suit one’s comfort and acceptability—is unacceptable.
We vehemently disagree with the premise that our ancestry and history have no value. In fact, we regard it in the highest esteem and — any perspective — to the contrary will never diminish our view. And, as members of National Congress of Black Women, Inc., Broward County Chapter, we denounce your move to have the program eliminated and strongly urge you to treat it as other allowable AP classes that celebrate and acknowledge their cultural contributions. Our children and all Americans should be educated on our history from slavery throughout existing contributions of today. We come from a proud, rich heritage whose members have significantly contributed to world—and that reality can never be diminished or denied.
Black History is American History!
Be the first to comment