Afro Latino scholars and activists slam Gov. DeSantis’ dissection of AP African American studies


Educator and community activist Ted Victor was outraged. When he learned that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had decided to take. An Advanced Placement African American Studies course his daughter planned to take. That had “significant educational value.”

Afro Latino scholars and activists slam Gov. DeSantis' dissection of AP African American studies

.”There’s no educational value, like something you can discard.

Something you can throw away, something that says you’re not as important as other people.” Said Victor, who is Afro Latino and has taught middle and high school for 25 years. , and college.

The son of a Cuban father and an Asian mother. Victor realizes he is part of the black diaspora before he attends college at age 17. Learning this from another college. Classmate led him to change his undergraduate major from mathematics. And computer science to African American studies.

“How can you label a people and their history as worthless? . . . How can my daughter take world history. US history, European history and have no questions asked? In other words, she can study your ancestors, but my ancestors. Does his ancestry have any academic value? he asked.

DeSantis’ crusade on diversity and race comes in a state, colonized by the Spanish. Where black, Latino and indigenous cultures and histories intersect. The first Generation Z member of the US Congress, Rep. Maxwell. Frost is a Florida Democrat who identifies as Afro-Cuban.

It is a state where, as elsewhere in the United States.

Afro Latinos still struggle for recognition of their place in American history. And culture, even with discrimination within the Latino community.

As for banning AP African American Studies courses, DeSantis said. It’s not education, it’s indoctrination. He said the intersectional parts of the course — for example. How race, gender, class, sexual orientation can marginalize people. — Reparations, mass incarceration and the introduction. Of Black queer theory were a political agenda, not an academic one.

DeSantis pushed back against criticism that his rejection of the course. Hindered the study of African American history.

The state already requires the teaching of African American history. “All important subjects,” DeSantis said at a news conference last month.

But the AP course isn’t African American history, it’s African studies. Which touches on the intersection of culture and identity. Said Brand Robinson. Who has a master’s degree in African American studies and is in his 26th year of teaching.

“A lot of people in Florida who are Latino, they’re Afro Latino.

For a lot of people who are Latino,. That’s intersectionality — he’s demonizing a word. That’s pretty descriptive for a lot of Americans,” Robinson, who is white, said of DeSantis.

“It reveals what we need to do better in our education system,” he said.

Paul Ortiz, who wrote the textbook “An African American. And Latinx History of the United States.” And is a professor of history at the University of Florida. Noted that this month 28 Florida State College presidents issued a statement. Saying they would drop any academic requirements in critical race theory. Related concepts such as compel to believe or interdisciplinarity.

“What an insult,” Ortiz said. “If you’re an Afro Latino, your whole life is intersected. You live, you bridge, , these different worlds.”

DeSantis’ office referred todaystrend News’ request for comment to the Education Department. Which did not respond Friday afternoon.

The College Board released a revised version of the course.

Saying the changes were planned long before DeSantis’ criticism. The changes were in DeSantis’ explosive areas. Including intersectional issues, the Black Lives Matter movement. And reparations; They are now optional study materials.

Fordham University law professor Tanya K. Hernandez, author of the book. “Racial Innocent: Unmasking Latino Anti-Black Bias. And the Struggle for Equality.” Called DeSantis’ recent actions an “attack on racial literacy.”

Hernandez, whose book uses legal cases to show. The persistence of Latino racism against black Latinos. And its effects in areas such as education, housing. And employment, disagreed with the College Board’s amendment. Which made some contemporary subjects optional.

“Censoring some of the most important issues we face as a society. Also hinders our ability to understand. That racial disparities are the result of systemic barriers. And not the supposed moral failings of subordinate racial and ethnic groups.” Said Hernandez, who is Afro-Latina.

“Hindering students’ ability to understand the racist world. They live in undermines their ability to get the knowledge. Needed to make our world inclusive and ,” she said.

, students who score well on standardized tests take AP courses.

That give them full college-level instruction. And college credit they can take with them to a higher education institution. Said Christopher Busse, associate professor at the University of Florida. Teacher, School and Society Program and faculty member in the Latin. American Studies and African American Studies programs.

In her research, Busey, who is black and whose children are Afro Latino. Called for better treatment of Afro Latinos in the K-12 curriculum. He wrote in a 2017 analysis of US high school world history textbooks. That educators can no longer allow history textbooks. And other social studies materials to limit Afro Latino representation to race composition. Racial hierarchies, and slavery. Afro Latino history is complex and multilayered, he writes. And requires extensive treatment in kindergarten through 12th grade narratives.

Stanford University research has shown that even non-AP ethnic. Studies courses have positive effects on students. Including those at risk of dropping out.

As Republicans like DeSantis have tried to limit instruction on race. And diversity, educators and teachers like Busey and Robinson have felt the backlash.

Busey said he avoided speaking to the media, while Robinson said.

He had to submit all his teaching materials to his school board. After a parent accused him of being a Marxist, alleging. That the book he was using was linked to the 1619 Project because It had the year 1619 in its title. A review committee cleared him.

DeSantis recently announced that he plans to block state colleges. From offering programs on diversity, equity and inclusion, and critical race theory.

Jose Wilson, executive director and co-founder of Educolor. An organization devoted to issues of race and social justice in education. Said DeSantis’ criticism and rejection of AP courses provides a template. For how standards in other classes can be “pushed down.” A chilling effect on other race studies classes.

“If you can go after AP African American studies. You can pursue that whole standard more generally,” he said. “It’s not for black, Latino or Afro-Latinx people, it’s for everyone. Because our white students also need to learn this rich history. Especially because of the concentration of Cubans and Americans. And Puerto Ricans (in Florida)—many of whom adhere to their African ancestry. ” he said.

Nancy Raquel Mirabal, an associate professor in the American

. Studies Program at the University of Maryland. Has published research on Afro-Cuban communities. That migrated to Yabor City and Tampa, Florida. During the American Revolution and to work in cigar factories. Constitutions were being written in the American colonies.

“Black Cubans worked with white Cubans as immigrants early. On because of language, because of shared experiences. But over time, white Cubans separated themselves from black Cubans,” he said. Mirabal, the daughter of Dominican immigrants. Said this separation made black Cubans more African. leading to the creation of American diasporic identities.

“Florida suffers so much because it has such a large Latinx and black community. The idea that their history doesn’t matter is a slap in the face to its early immigrants,” Mirabal said.

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