Al Sharpton leads Tallahassee rally to defend controversial curriculum in African American history course

by | Feb 15, 2023

  • 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.



  1. MH/Duuuval

    An AP history course is roughly equivalent to college freshmen/sophomore courses. The standard textbook for many African American college history courses is John Hope Franklin’s “From Slavery to Freedom.” After the 9th revision was printed, a Harvard colleague, Evelyn Higginbotham, took over the responsibility of revising and updating the venerable text. She added 100 or so pages to its length, and revised the contemporary sections. All of the things Gov. Ron decries are there, as they should be because they are part of history. The only thing lacking in Higginbotham’s text is a longer segment on Black conservatives like Thomas, Sowell, Loury, and Carson. There is a valid criticism to be made that the College Board course if, in fact, it also failed on this count. The four Black conservatives also have a presence in the readings section — along with Robin D.G. Kelley and Kimberle Crenshaw, two specific Black intellectuals who the Gov. worries will pollute the minds of young Floridians.

    • dmmorrison

      You’re right. Black history courses should include material on Blacks, and there have been a few, who worked to undermine the struggle for freedom and equality.

  2. Marv Frandsen

    I appreciate a substantive comment as above. Both “legacy” press and The Capitolist fail to do anything but print the insults of one side against another. Citizens are left in the dark and have no way to form an opinion about the issue based on facts.

  3. Alida Rivero

    Promoting Al Sharpton is like promoting Satan

  4. Brad buckley

    Revisionist history is not new to the southern states and southern leaders like DeSantis. The term “war of Northern Aggresion” being a prime example. Name calling Black leaders like reverend Sharpton is another prime example.

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