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With each passing week, there seems to be a new unhinged law in Florida. This time, Florida Governor Ron Desantis – and future presidential hopeful – has decided to take aim at the College Board’s preliminary plans for an AP course in African American history. The selective erasure of important historical education is a dangerous measure expected of dictators – not democratically elected politicians. Paired with a recent law that banned “woke books” from schools, Florida exemplifies the dangerous reality of the war on education. By erasing Black history and the injustices that exist within it, Governor Desantis is able to erase any context as to why current inequities persist.  

When asked by the press why the course was blocked, Governor Desantis claimed that the AP course was “pushing an agenda.” According to Desantis, the course includes a “queer history unit,” the promotion of the Black Lives Matter movement and the mention of reparations.  However, according to Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, professor of history and African and African American Studies at Harvard University, in an interview with TIME magazine, this is categorically false. “Those narratives that they were singling out aren’t in the curriculum itself. What they see is buzzwords.” According to official AP course documents, these are optional topics related to possible research projects and not required for the AP exam. Additionally, the college board has recently adjusted the curriculum shortly after Desantis rejected the course. It seems that none of these topics are central to the course, like Desantis and his administration claim, but lying isn’t a new practice by the Florida governor.

The real issue – not whether AP African American Studies pushes communism, wokeism or some other nonsensical claim – is that the erasure of history destroys the collective ability to make rational decisions. If a given community is disproportionately affected by poverty, or any other issue for that matter, it’s important to understand why that is the case. Courses like AP African American Studies teach the valuable history behind contemporary problems. By blocking access to this kind of knowledge, another narrative is pushed instead – the idea that everything is fine as is.