Ramsey Responds to AP African American Studies Revisions


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In January, Florida governor Ron DeSantis announced a statewide ban of the AP African American Studies curriculum. He claimed that the inclusion of queer identity and Black feminism was part of a “political agenda.”

Vee Williamson, Staff Writer

After receiving politically heated backlash, the College Board released changes to the curriculum of their developing course, AP African American Studies, on Feb. 1.

According to CP African American Studies teacher Marc Ramsey, the changes to the AP course are a result of unnecessary political drama that has been detrimental to the curriculum.

“The whole objection to African American studies has been politicized even though it’s not a political issue,” Ramsey said.

In January, Florida governor Ron Desantis announced that he would ban the curriculum, citing the course’s inclusion of the study of Black Queer Theory as part of a “political agenda.”

“We believe in teaching kids facts and how to think, but we don’t believe they should have an agenda imposed on them,” Desantis said at a press conference in Jacksonville. “When you try to use Black history to shoehorn in queer theory, you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes.”

Shortly after Desantis’ statement, on Feb. 1, the College Board announced their revisions; however, Florida education officials and the College Board were in contact earlier. In Jan. 2023, the Florida Department of Education released a private statement to the College Board saying they would not accept the course without it being revised.

College Board’s revisions to the course exclude diverse aspects of African American history. Topics defined as black feminism, queer identity, and Black Lives Matter have been removed from the course and are now listed as optional subjects.

Having grown up in Florida, seeing this aspect of his home go away is surreal and unexpected for Ramsey. In the 90s, his school in Brauer County, Florida, had a class on African American studies. Parts of Florida have very large minority populations, making diverse cultural education fairly common.

“[African American Studies] has been in the curriculum for a very long time because it’s a reflection of southern Florida,” Ramsey said.

According to Ramsey, preventing students from taking the course as a whole can potentially damage future students’ perception of the past. He also says it is not possible to teach African American history authentically when such vital parts are excluded.

“The voice that is the most … non-represented amongst African Americans in this country has a place in the curriculum,” Ramsey said.