A Push to Make Black History Classes a College Graduation Requirement in FL is Mostly Talk but no Action

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tags: Florida, education, African American history, history curriculum

Amid ongoing racial tensions over the killing of George Floyd and other racial injustices, questions have been raised about whether colleges and universities should mandate courses on African American history or racism that would bring more awareness and inclusiveness of Black culture.

The idea would be that such classes would be required for college students to graduate.

But so far, there appears to be no formal action on that front  — despite petition drives, protests, virtual meetings and conversations surrounding issues affecting people of color.

The Florida Phoenix has found that several colleges and universities don’t require that type of instruction for graduation, though African American courses do exist in the curriculum.

Right now, Florida law requires African American history to be taught at K-12 public schools, though some schools may not be teaching it, as previously reported by the Phoenix.

“I don’t know how you’d teach a class in racism but certainly offering a Black history class (that would be required), I don’t have any issue with that,” said State Sen. Audrey Gibson, a Democrat representing part of Duval County. Gibson, who is Black, is the Democratic Leader in the Florida Senate.

At state higher education institutions, particularly where there are fewer Black students compared to white, students aren’t required to learn about African American history, and many may not be aware of those courses offered.

At Florida A&M University, all undergraduate students must fulfill general education requirements including completing an introduction to African American history class, said David Jackson, Jr., a history professor and dean of FAMU’s School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Read entire article at Florida Phoenix

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