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Black Florida Democrat commissioner says AP African American history course is 'trash'

"I think it’s trash. It’s not African American history. It is ideology," he said. 

Published: February 1, 2023 12:30pm

Updated: February 1, 2023 2:08pm

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, a black Florida Democrat, said the AP African American Studies course is "trash," siding with Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in opposition to the class due to its focus on queer and feminist ideology.

Florida rejected the College Board AP course from the state's curriculum last month because it was "filled with Critical Race Theory and other obvious violations of Florida law," State Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. said. 

The AP class would have been taught to Florida high school students working towards earning college credit, but teaching topics such as Critical Race Theory is illegal in the state.

"There is grave concern about the tone and the tenor of leadership’s voice from the highest spaces in our state being hostile to teaching of African American history," Proctor said last week at a Leon County Commission meeting.  

"Well, frankly I’m against the College Board’s curriculum. I think it’s trash. It’s not African American history. It is ideology," he said. 

Proctor, a Florida A&M University instructor, said he has taught African American history and created syllabuses for it. 

"Talking about 'queer' and 'feminism' and all of that for the struggle for freedom and equality and justice[, there] has not been ... tension with queerness and feminist thought at all," he said. 

The College Board released the AP African American Studies course framework on Wednesday. The organization's CEO David Coleman said: "No one is excluded from this course: the Black artists and inventors whose achievements have come to light; the Black women and men, including gay Americans, who played pivotal roles in the civil rights movement; and people of faith from all backgrounds who contributed to the antislavery and civil rights causes. Everyone is seen."

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