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AMOD: Why Ron DeSantis was Wrong to Oppose the AP African American Studies Course for the Reasons He Offered! And I Don't like A A Studies!

Controversial Content
Added: Wednesday, February 1st 2023 at 5:10pm by AMODPOVW
Category: News & Issues
Related Tags: history, education


First, let's be clear...this Post is not meant for everyone.  Not everyone is going to be interested in this subject and not everyone is Intellectually Mature enough to discuss it.  I am presenting my opinion on this situation and will be willing to dialogue with others who desire to offer their opinion as well!  But let's be clear we are talking about the AP African American History Course offered by the College Board and opposed by Gov. DeSantis of Florida and not "Woke Politics"...whatever that is!!  So let's begin.

In September 1972 I was asked to review the Curriculum for a "Black Studies" Class that I was suppose to teach at a Private High School in Washington DC.  The first thing I noticed was the the course contained very little History and a lot of Theory.  I immediately scraped the Course and proposd that we teach a Black History Course instead of a Black Studies Course.  I presented a Curriculum and proposed we use John Hope Franklins, "From Slavery to Freedom" as a Textbook!  It should be noted that the "Black Studies" Class did not have a Textbook, but it contain a reading list.  I explained to my Department Chair the difference between Black Studies and Black History and suggested that if we still wanted to have a "Studies" Course that it could be offered but the History Course had to be a Prerequisite for entry.  Since they both were Electives, he agreed!

Enrollment in the "History" Course skyrocketed and included both White and Black Students.  It was academically taxing since Franklins Book is a College Level read and we suffered a 20% failure rate!  The Readings used for the "Black Studies" Class were works by WEB Dubois and Booker T. Washington.  Alex Haley's "Malcolm X" was also included (sidenote: Haley's nephew was in the class and we were able to get him as the Keynote Speaker at a Graduation), as well as works by MLK and yes Angela Davis!

By the second year enrollment in both Classes began to drop as students began to realize that Black History and Black Studies was not a joke and that it required just as much study to pass those courses as it did any other.  So being typical High School Students they started to pick Electives that did not require you to read a 450 Page TextBook or write 10 page Term Papers on the Dubois v Washington Controversy!

I give you this background so that you have a point of reference on where I stand with this Black Studies thing.  My position is clear, first and foremost that African American History (Black History) has Academic Value, so does African American Studies and DeSantis was incorrect in stating that it doesn't.  The Academic Value of a subject depends entirely on how the material is presented....and whether or it it creates "Critical Thinking" in the student.

African American History as a subject informs the student of events both positive and negative that occured.  It let's the student (regardless of race) of who we were and how we became who we are.  It is no different than any other History, which is why by my 4th year I recommended they we not offer either Black History or Black Studies, but rather that we rewrite our US and World History Courses to incorporate the study of Blacks and my Chairperson agreed.  

Now we offered Workshops and Seminars to expose the students both white and black to additional information that could not be crammed into our American and World History Course.  For and example, I included the study of Africa into my World History Course and guess what....World History was not an Elective so all students had to take it.  All of my students learned about the Zulu Empire and Apartheid!  They understood the effects of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade on the development of Central and South America.

So when you talk about the Academic Value of this subject you need to again understand that your goal is to develop "Critical Thinking" skills in your students!  As a former History Teacher DeSantis understands that, but my fear is that he purposes this silly opposition in hopes that people who don't understand that process will get upset.  Let's take the study of the works of Angela Davis as an example.  I personally disagree with Davis and her world view on Blackness in America.  But guess what, I am not afraid to debate Davis or anyone else on those views.  I can defend my beliefs because my teachers offered me all sides of an issue and helped me develop the "Critical Thinking" to find flaws in Davis's positions.   DeSantis wants to denied the Students of Florida to develop those same skills.

I dislike "African American Studies" as a Course because it tends to be more of a "Philsophy" Course and as such needs a strong Instructor to be effective.  But being an Advanced Placement (AP) Course you would hope that my concerns about the Instructor was considered.  In short, do not attack the Message, but instead ensure that you have Qualified Messengers.  DeSantis appears not to be doing this and instead just throws out "Red Meat" comments about people being "Woke"!

In the meantime all that DeSantis appears to have done is increase the interest in AP African American Studies because we all know the fastest way to get a Teenager to show interest in something is to tell them that they cannot have it.  Thanks Governor DeSantis!


User Comments

I'm against that African American Studies course because it makes white people, all white people look like villains. Also, it only serves to divide us. Is that reason enough for you? 

Sorry Amala you could not be more wrong!!{#basic-laugh.gif}

It actually if designed correctly is a course about African Americans!  Their Culture, their views and their politics which actually in some areas is different from White Americans.

I gave an example of African American Studies in the Post when I talked about the Washington v Dubois Debate.  It had or has nothing to do with White People...it simply asked the question should Black Americans strive to be Educators and Elites or should they focus on Vocational type Jobs?  How does that discussion have anything to do with White People?  It doesn't!

Let's take a look at one of the subjects that DeSantis felt did not need to be involved in the curriculum...Black Queer Studies!  Black People are considered one of the most Homo-Phobic peoples in our society.  In short, Blacks do not accept Gay People lightly!  So the curriculum wants to take a look at why Blacks tend to hate or discriminate against Gays in their Society.  And possibly looks at the contributions of Black Gays to Society!  What does that have to do with White People?  Nothing!

Once again Knowledge informs us!  DeSantis is just trying to scare people and guess what it is working!{#basic-laugh.gif}

But isn't the course accentuating the differences between blacks and whites? And should there even BE differences to accentuate? We're all Americans here and we all have to live together, and work together and play together. So shouldn't we all TRY to be more alike; to fit a certain standard? Why celebrate the differences when the differences are what keep tearing us apart? There shouldn't be different societies and cultures here. We should all be blended like a smoothie, like we've always tried to be. We should be the great "melting pot." So I feel that African course will only pull us farther apart. 

People come here from different places and they turn the country into little mini duplicates of the countries they came from. We have China Town in CA, and little Vietnam in Minnesota and little Iran in New York. They don't learn the language and they don't adopt the lifestyle. So instead of joining us, they try to change US. And I'm not okay with that. 

I've got to figure if things were so great in their old countries, why did they even bother to come here? If Socialism made life so unbearable where they were, why try to bring it here? And, yes, a lot of blacks were brought here against their will during slavery but today they are coming here (of their own free) will from countries all over the planet. So they aren't necessarily like the blacks who were born here. So teaching black culture is, as I see it, a mistake. 

Amala again you seem to be misunderstanding what I am trying to explain to you.  The Black Studies Course does not accentuate the differences between whites and blacks....if done properly most of those courses spend very little time talking about White People.  I will give you an example, let's take Church.  Now I grew up with my Grandmother listening to Billy Graham every week and my Grand Aunt listened to a White Catholic Priest (I wish I could remember his name) every morning on TV.  Now in there side conversations they talked about "Daddy Grace" and his Church in Washington DC and New York!  Now as a Child I went to Church every Sunday and our experience in Service was completely different than what I saw with Billy Graham.  The Music was difference and the way the Preacher Preached (Style) was different, but the word was the same.  The Bible was the same and the Scriptures and the Order of Service almost the same. But everything else was different. So as I got older I started to wonder why....it was not until I got into College and we studied a section on the History of the Black Church that I got an understanding of why they were differences and guess what, it did not make me like Billy Graham any less!

As far as understanding what is American Culture there is a problem.  Since American Culture is such a mix of Cultures from other Countries how do you define the American Culture.  Take Food for an example.  What is American Food?  Is Fried Chicken American Food?  How about Ham and Eggs?  Southern Fried Chicken is different depending on where you come from in the South.  I grew up believing that Pig's feet was Black People Food....just a few years ago I found out that People in Europe have been eating Pigs Feet for Hundreds of years they just call them "Trotters" in different Cultures.

I guess I am asking what is the American Standard that you are talking about?  Again, African American History was not designed to highlight differences it was originally designed to teach Black Kids that they matter and have contributed to the American experience. {#basic-laugh.gif} 

I understand what you're saying about the church. Black services always seemed a lot louder and a lot livelier than the services at the nearly all white Methodist church I used to attend. Things there were pretty low key. But then when I was living at home we used to have a church full of white people we called "Holy Rollers" in the building across the street from us and they were as loud and flamboyant as the black church goers were. So I'm thinking the particular brand of religion vs. race tempers the services. 

About the American standard ... Like I said, we are a mixed bag of nationalities; a melting pot. So "American food" is anything from bratwurst and sauerkraut, to tacos, to sweet and sour pork, to spaghetti and meatballs, to macaroni and cheese to meatloaf. That all depends on what you like. In my family we all liked Chinese food and Italian food the most. French food came in third and German food came in fourth. We weren't crazy about Mexican food but some people love it. We just always ate what we liked and what my mother could cook. 

As far as American culture is concerned, let's be frank and admit that Americans are brash individuals who know what they want and aren't afraid to ask for it. Foreigners think we're rude and arrogant. They are appalled when we say what we think. And some consider us to be uncivilized barbarians and I have to admit, sometimes our actions prove it. That's because we haven't lived under dictators who shoot you for saying the wrong thing. We haven't had manners and proper behavior drilled into us from birth. 


DeSantis started with the 'don't say gay' law and he is FOR the White Republican conservitive (see your first commentor)  who would normally vote for Trump but feels more comfortable with DeSanti's 'parent's rule' law!

By the way on another subject DON'T MISS  "ARGENTINA 1985"  on Prime Amazon  wow!

Just saw Argentna 1985 and loved it!!!{#basic-laugh.gif}

Just a side note on the College Board...today the new Curriculum came out with a Block on Black Conservatism!!  I wonder if DeSantis will reject that one also!{#basic-laugh.gif}

Black conservatism sounds like a great idea to teach as long as it’s not the kind you pretend to promote.

What the heck is Black Conservatism???  Can you define it??  What is Conservative thought today?  Is Donald Trump a Conservative?  Is Tim Scott a Conservative?  What Historical references would be used to define the subject?  It makes about as much sense teaching a High School Student Black Conservatism as it does to teach about the Black Queer Experience....none whatsoever!!  It is not a concept that can be defined which means its a Philosopical Subject and if you are against one subject of this nature you should be against them all!  If DeSantis does not reject this Course work also, then he takes another step towards proving how much of a joke he really is!

Interesting discussion.  Of course I may surpise you by agreeing with much of what you say here, although certainly there are some details that I disagree, or at least see differently.

I agree with the idea that to have an African-American studies program, it is needed to have an American history class first.  That gives the general back for all people that live in our country and is a valid and needed part of the education experience.

That class could have a portion devoted to African-American centered History or that could be for those who want to have more information on a section of the national history which has often been neglected in the general study problem.  Either way, the "AA studies" course should be after the general history because it would be a good resource for learning why there is devision, and would explain the theory behind much of the devision, regardless of the color of shin....including within the Black community.

I never understand the fear of teaching the history including AA history because if it is going to "make us feel bad" simple factual history would suffice to do that.  Many people felt and still feel "bad" reading Uncle Tom's cabin and that was, in fact, one of the main reasons for that book.  Harriet Beecher Stowe was avidly anti-slavery and felt "bad" about the institution of slavery.

The job needs, in my considered opinion to be to move on from "feeling bad" to keeping the kind of atrocerites that happened, both in the case of our subjugation of the AA population, but also of the horrors we committed against the Native American population..think "trail of tears".

Incidently, Australia has taken a step forward in their relationship with their own indigeous population by deciding that instead of changing the picture on their currency from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charlies, they are going to change it to pictures commerating the culture of Australia.

Vic it has been a bad week for your brain Lol Everyone knows that there are people referenced in these so-called African-American studies who are blatantly racist. Just because some of your big heroes in the media ignore that they are racist doesn’t mean the average American can’t see it. We all see it

SFTL let me give you a little background.  When Carter G Woodson came up with the idea of "Negro History Week" which we now call Black History Month it was designed to educate Negro's or Blacks about their history and their contributions to American History...because it was not covered in American History at the time.  So it orginally was to educate Blacks about themselves.  The first Black History Course I ever took was in College and it was a purely Academic Course and actually had very little to do with what White folks did or didn't do.  Slavery is a very small part of any study of Black History.  Jim Crow will take up a greater Section, but a good course will focus on contributions and success stories in spite of adversity!

We have tended to get away from those fundamentals.  For an example you mention Uncle Tom's Cabin....we seem to not want to teach what HBS really implied in that story and instead focus only on the Slavery aspect.  We don't even teach kids that Uncle Tom is actually the hero in the book!  I will give you another example....ask a Black High Student about Benjamin O Davis Sr. or Benjamin O Davis Jr. and they will say "Who"?  Ask them who was Prince Hall or Salem Poor and they will say "Who"?  Ask them who was Edmund Brooke or B. Ruskind and they say Who"?  They may be able to tell you a little about Malcolm X, but they could not tell you why he changed his name the second time or who killed him and why?  All of these things have to do with Black History and not Black Studies!

Now, Black Studies would get into subject matter like the Washingon v Dubois debate, which is History, but is really the underlying battle in the philosophical divide that exist in the Black Community today.  It's the real basis of the Black Conservatism v Black Liberalism issue.  And guess what...none of these topics has anything to do with teach black kids to hate white people....but rather its value lies in what Woodson wanted from the being, to teach Black kids to love themselves without the need to hate someone else.

Wow, what you have shared is very interesting.  I will admit I don't know any of the names you mentioned, other than Malcolm X, and didn't know he changed his name twice, although I probably knew or assumed he did the one time. (I didn't really think he was born and with the last name of X, that seemed rather intuitive)

I also think that any group needs to have knowledge of where they came from and what their people contributed, whether they are or aren't the recipents of racism and/or hatred.

Malcolm X: “The white liberal is the worst enemy to America and the worst enemy to the black man.” Nothing has changed as any black person with a brain will tell you and many will

I am so glad you asked that question!!  So it seems that you agree with Malcolm X?? Would you consider him a Black Conservative?  What do you think he meant by the White Liberal?  You are of course aware that Liberalism in the 60's had a different meaning than it does today.  You also are obviously aware that Malcolm make and adjustment to his thinking towards the end of his life when he realized that he was being used!  It was this reevaluation of his positions and his acceptance of true Islam and the reality that Islam was rather Color Blind that lead to his ultimate death at the hands of those very same Black Muslim Conservatives that he made famous.  Malcom was far more complex than just one quote.  There was an evolution there that allowed people to understand that what he was actually doing was expanding the Washington v Dubois Debate into modern times.  This debate was and has been essential to the progression of Blacks in this society!

SFTL Malcolm changed his name a third time to Shabazz!  He did this when he converted and accepted Islam as a Sunni Muslim.  He took a Pilgrimage to Mecca and after that completely changed his views on Race Relations and Black Separatism.  It was this conversion that actually lead to his death!

Now a wonderful Black Studies subject could and should be why did Malcolm make this conversion and what were the underlying policies and events that drove this decision.  History would inform the discussion, but Philosophy was at the base of these events.  How can Malcolms evolution inform the journey of the Black Youth of today who might find themselves facing some of the same base issues.  Of course if we do not teach about Malcolm X we don't get the beauty of the conversion.  Talk to someone like DeSantis about Malcolm X and he would have no clue.  By the way show a kid today a Picture of Malcolm and they could not point him out!

I think I might do a Post on Malcolm and his journey just to expand this discussion!{#basic-laugh.gif}

I would love to discuss Malcolm X black conservatives and whatever else is related to this but you gotta open your comments I’m not saying what I need to say through the stupid phone. I’ll be nice.
Liberalism in the 1960s was most definitely different but that’s not an argument you’re gonna win. As a movement it had much more clarity than any of these progressive clowns today and you can tell that by how they oppose free speech for one of many examples. What Malcolm X hated about white liberal Democrats exists today the very same way it existed then. The only difference is all of the ideological subversion which is made these people complete idiots they are not principled and they don’t stand for what they think they stand for. Malcolm X was smart enough to see through it then and he would see through it now I bet he would have far worse things to say about white liberals today. There is just no question about it It can’t get much worse than what he already said though so we must always consider that lol
If blacks want to have something they call black conservatism then that’s fine with me. I don’t like identity politics so I don’t refer to them like that despite saying it before. But I do know that there are many black conservatives and many black libertarians and I would just encourage all Black people to do anything but be a part of the Democrat machine that just seeks to subjugate them and use them as pawns just as the party has been doing since the 1960s

First, the discussion of Black Conservatism as it relates to the Black Community has little to nothing to do with a Political Party.  Political Parties can mean one thing one time and something else another.  True Black Conservatism or Liberalism rest in ones outlook on how he/she views the role of the opportunities available to them to succeed in the greater society and which is the best avenue to use to secure that success.  I am going to do another Post where I will explain this concept a bit more and provide the source and context for that discussion!

More Marxist bullshit with a cherry on top give me a break old man. If there is one thing I’ve learned about you it’s that you don’t give a damn about truth, what do you care about is narratives. You find some you like and then you provide bullshit context to support them and then anybody who doesn’t agree simply isn’t as educated as you on the subject. You’re afraid to discuss anything in which you are not leading the conversation you are an absolute phony lol

My site my topics!!  If you do not like it you do not have to come here!!


And for the record.....discussion of Black Conservatism has nothing to do with Marxism!!  That's the stuff that is floating through your diluted mind.  How about reading my next Post and try to learn something!


The college board purged the names of many black writers and scholars associated with critical race theory, the queer experience and black feminism. It ushered out some political topics, like Black Lives Matter from the formal curriculum. As it should be because nobody really wants to hear from racist Marxist filth except for those people who want to shove it in the minds of our children. you support the most harmful things and you do it just because it makes you feel good

Once again you seem to have problems with Reading!!  You know reading is fundamental!!  If you had read the Post you would know that I am not a fan of African American Studies as a Course!  But of course as usual you failed to read!

By the way Critical Race Theory was never part of the Curriculum and the Authors who you claim support the theory have nothing to do with the subject!  As far as things like BLM it would have been interesting to see how the subject was presented since few people seem to understand what it really means as a concept!  And as far Marxist theory is concerned it is understandable that someone like you a living, breathing, dyed in the wool FASCIST would be opposed to students learning why Marxism doesn't work for the Black Community!  But of course the fact that they added a subject like Black Conservatism is okay with you!!{#basic-laugh.gif}

Geez, get a life!

You’re blaming the governor when everyone knows the college board discussed this at length and said there was no political pressure and they agreed with the changes that were suggested. You can’t reference people like Angela Davis and Kimberly Crenshaw and that whole gang and then pretend that it’s not Marxist or racist, you pathetic retard. This will go away quietly because it is in fact what DeSantis said it was

So you can't mention Crenshaw or Davis and their gang....why?  What is wrong with offering a student insight into the teaching of an opposing view point?  Oh that is right...we want student not to develop any Critical Think Skills, we want them only to believe what we say and not think for themselves!!  Why educate them at all?  Have you ever read any of Davis's work?  Any of Crenshaw's?  If you have it doesn't appear to have effected you?  What makes you think it would adversely effect the students of Florida?  If you have not read their works...then you prove one of my points about you.....reading is fundamental, and you are talking about things of which you have no knowledge.  For the record, I have read both and I strongly disagree with Davis (always have since the 60's) and I believe that Crenshaw attempts to combine too many factors to arrive at her theories on Intersectionalism!  Crenshaw by the way only speaks of the works of others on CRT and only discusses the Theory in its proper setting...Elite Law Schools, since CRT deals solely with aspects of Law and not Diversity Training!

And for the record....there were 59 other School Districts that had no problem with the Curriculum as it was or if they had problems they forwarded their concerns through proper channels and did not try to score cheap political points!  So yes I blame the Governor!


You’re gonna have to open up your comments to anonymous if you want me to discuss this. I’ll do so nicely but I’m not doing it through the stupid iPhone

Demorcracyrising Divide Sticker - Demorcracyrising Divide Divide And Conquer Stickers

Oh I would name an older trick but I wouldn't want an unamed person to get upset!!!!  :O)


Ok, I have a question.  As you point out there is a horrible lack of knowledge even within the young AA community about the historic contributions from their own ancestors.  Saying that many would not know who important people that contributed to the AA rights movement were, etc.

i personally believe when a group of people don't see themselves in the story of their own nation, they have a harder time understanding that they are included...are important, and thereful feel unconnected. I suspect this  is especially bad for those raised in poverty who don't have access to additional roads of learning.

I know my high school history taught me a generic sort of state (Tennessee) history and an American History but there was certainlly very little AA coverage. I seem to remember Eli Whitney and the cotton gin but that is about it.  How do young AA learn to feel proud of American and their own place in it, especially now that in many places, people like DeSantis is trying to homogenize history even more??

SFTL now you are starting to get the point!  Young AA students loose their sense of understanding when their contributions are not reinforced through simple addition.  When only the negatives or misinformed are mentioned then kids walk away with a false sense of self.  I will give you two quick examples....let's look at Movies and TV.   There were a few programs on TV showing Blacks as Drug Dealers and Gangsters.  Hollywood believed that this kind of stuff would sell in the Black Community.  When Tyler Perry came to them with his Madea stuff the rejected him because they did not think it would sell.  But what they missed was the strong Religious and family underlying theme in each Tyler Perry movie, where he was delivering a message to the audience.  Tyler made Millions before Hollywood caught on.  They missed the impact that the Black Church has on the Black Community.  But guess what...Black youth attendance in the Black Church experience is dropping.

I will give you another example.  The Movie "Devotion" just came out and it highlighted the experience of the first Naval Aviator.  He was killed during the Korean War.  The average young Black today does not know his name or his story...but Hollywood believed that by telling his story that Blacks would flock to the movie, but they didn't. Why, because Older Blacks did know his story and they knew that if the story was told correctly that it was a White Guy who was the real Hero of the Movie.  In short Hollywood was accused of false advertising.

You have got to incorporate the key important facts into standard American History.  Then provide opportunities by way of special projects for other information to be obtained.  Spending an advise amount of time on Slavery without informing the student that there were over 600 Slave Revolts in America gives students a false sense of what the Institution really was.  Spending time discussing Reconstruction is of little value unless discuss the development of Jim Crow and then mention people like Mary McCloud Bethune and Booker T Washington and their contributions to America.  You cannot talk about the Great Indian Wars and not mention the 9th and 10th Cavalry (the Buffalo Soldiers).  I can go on and on I will give you two names to do some quick research on and come back to me with why these guys should be important the study of African Americans in US History.  Richard Allen is one and Prince Hall is the other!

See if you can find something on these two people and get back to me!{#basic-laugh.gif}

Richard Allen was minister, educator and writer that lived between 1760 and 1831 and was a very important figure in AA history.  He was also the founder of the first AA church, a Arican Methodist Episcopal Church, the first independent AA church in 1794 in Phila.

Prince Hall lived from 1738 to 1807 and was the founder of the first AA Masonic Temple in Boston.  That Temple was recognized by the Masonic society in England.  He was also an abolitistic and worked to education AA children in the Boston area, and was part of the Return to Africa movement.


Outstanding!!  Now consider this....you in that brief bit of research know more about two Important figures in AA History than most Blacks High School Students today!  So, why are these two guys so important to history.  Well let's take Allen for starts....by founding the AME Church...which is one of the largest Black Denominations in Ameria...Allen laid down a foundation for black family and religious values that exist today.  Study the AME Church and you get to understand the "Black Church" as a whole.  You get to understand why that shooting a few years ago in Charleston was so important.  You get to understand why "Mother Emmanual" AMW Church holds such a place in Black Culture.  Study Prince Hall and you get to understand the development of the Black Masonic Orders and the role they played in the development of Black Society....and once again the importance of Religion and Education.

Study these guys and you see a picture of two men trying to make things better for their community against all odds.  Study them and you have very little time to worry about what white people did or didn't do.  You also by studying Prince Hall you can learn a lot about Abraham Lincoln.  You cannot study Prince Hall and the Back to Africa Movement and not learn what Lincoln wanted to do with the Slaves once they were free!

You also get to learn a lot about World History, and how it was Former American Slaves who founded the country of Liberia in West Africa!!

See all the wonderful things you can learn by taking a moment to study African American History!!

Now African American Studies is a different beast all together.  I am going to do another Post on AA Studies and give you an example of what I am talking about.  By the way there are dozens of other people like Allen and Hall....individuals of color who did wonderful things to contribute to the America we have today....Inventors and Doctors who most people don't think about anymore but whose contributions are used everyday by everyone.  Take Dr. Chares Drew for example...most people do not know that it was his work on the development of Blood Storage and Transfusion that makes that process possible today.  And yes, he just happened to be Black!  

Again, lots of good stuff for people to learn if AA History is taught and studied properly!



I may do some more research going by what you have said in this response to my comment.   There is a lot to learn.

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