Florida Rejects New AP African American Studies Course


Ava Kahn

A new Advanced Placement class has been introduced into the College Board system: AP African American Studies. The course has been tested in 60 high schools all over the country. Now the course will be offered at many schools including ours, Vel Phillips Memorial. Conflict over this course has risen in Florida. The Florida Department of Education told the College Board that they will not allow this class to be offered in any of its high schools because they believe it is “historically inaccurate” and violates Florida law. 

Florida’s reasoning for denying this course is based on the “Stop WOKE” Act, and opposition to Critical Race Theory. “The Stop WOKE” Act, approved in 2021, regulates how race-related issues are taught in public schools. Similarly in 2021, the Board of Education banned public schools from teaching Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theory states that social institutions in the United States are laced with racist laws, regulations and procedures. All of these recent laws contributed to Florida’s rejection of the AP African American Studies course. 

Some Florida leaders are not happy with this decision. State Senator Shevrin Jones, a Democrat from the Miami-Dade County, stated that the refusal of this course reflected another attempt at whitewashing American history. State Representative Christopher Benjamin, a Democrat from the North Miami district, proposed an amendment to the “Stop WOKE” Act in an attempt to ensure that Florida students learn Black history. Officials from Florida said that if the College Board revises the course so that it complies with their laws, they will reconsider the course.