Governor DeSantis, Florida Department of Education’s Rejection of the AP African American Studies Course

Official Statement of The King Center’s CEO, Dr. Bernice King

Re: Governor DeSantis and the Florida Board of Education’s Rejection of the AP African American Studies Course


For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Momina Bryant
Cell: 404 437-1206

January 23, 2023

Atlanta, GA – In the same week we witnessed the world celebrate my father’s legacy in the battle against racism, leaders from Florida rejected an Advanced Placement course about African American Studies.  The cryptic rationale for banning the course suggests Florida would prefer its students not learn about our nation’s well-documented history of genocide, slavery, discrimination, and oppression imposed upon Black people – those who arrived at the US border and shores involuntarily, marking a 244-year era of unmitigated dehumanization, persecution, torture, and murder.

No amount of propaganda, fear-mongering around wokeness or political aspirations can cause us to unlearn that history. We, as citizens, must demand the truth. Florida’s leaders should not appear comfortable and accomplished in rejecting this course. The College Board should lay bare the curriculum here and challenge Florida to explain exactly what they deem inappropriate in the course and why they, as political appointees have the expertise to determine what African American Studies is all about.

The time is now. The children are waiting for you to step up, stop the propaganda and disinformation and show them how you will stand for justice and truth. The King Center stands ready to help facilitate a win-win outcome to the conflict around the AP African American Studies Curriculum. It’s been nearly forty years since my father’s birthday became a national holiday. Let’s not wait any longer to offer Florida students and their peers nationwide a course that should have been available to them decades ago.


About The King Center

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center) is a 501(c) (3) organization established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King. The King Center is the official living memorial and programmatic nonprofit organization committed to educating the world on the life, legacy, and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The King Center serves to inspire new generations to carry forward his unfinished work, strengthen causes and empower change-makers who are continuing his efforts today. The King Center’s premiere educational initiative, Nonviolence365®, is based on Dr.

King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology. His teachings engage participants from various sectors of society, including emerging and next-generation leaders, in modules and exercises that enhance communication, leadership, interpersonal, and conflict reconciliation skills, as well as empower individuals to address injustice.

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