- Rev. Al Sharpton led a “Save our History” rally in Florida’s Capitol advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in high schools.
- The rally was organized in response to Governor DeSantis’ objection to controversial curriculum in an Advanced Placement African American Studies course that included queer history and “Black feminism.”
- The College Board, which oversees Advanced Placement courses, revised the course to remove some controversial material, but Sharpton called for Florida to embrace diversity and inclusivity in its education system.
Rev. Al Sharpton led a “Save our History” rally at the Florida Capitol on Wednesday, advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion in high schools. The rally was organized in response to Governor Ron DeSantis’ objection to controversial curriculum initially included in an Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies course. The group responsible for the curriculum, The College Board, has since removed some of the objectionable material from the course, while explaining that some of the controversial topics were optional modules.
The group then published a politically-charged statement last weekend criticizing the DeSantis Administration, which drew a sharp rebuke from the governor.
“This College Board, like, nobody elected them to anything. They’re just kind of there, and they’re providing service,” DeSantis said on Wednesday. “So you can either utilize those services or not. And they’ve provided these AP (Advanced Placement) courses for a long time. But, you know, there are probably some other vendors who may be able to do that job as good, or maybe even a lot better,” DeSantis said during a news conference in Naples.
The drama heated up again on Wednesday afternoon, when Sharpton was joined by Rev. RB Holmes, the president of the Tallahassee chapter of the National Action Network, and other speakers, including Florida State Representative Fentrice Driskell and State Senator Shevrin Jones.
Sharpton led familiar chants, asking the crowd, “What do we want?” (Justice). “When do we want it?” (Now).
The group marched from Holmes’ Bethel Missionary Baptist Church to the Capitol, where they were joined by hundreds of people holding signs, waving banners, and chanting.
“Take note that we are all marching together,” Sharpton said. “LGBTQ, those that are Native American, those that are Latin X, you should have left us alone, now you have brought us all together.”
Sharpton claimed that many racial inflection points throughout American history have centered around education.
DeSantis did not address the rally in comments at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.