Does AP African American studies “lack educational value?” This question has been prompted by the recent actions of Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education, who expressed six points of concern around teaching Black queer studies, intersectionality, the Movement for Black Lives, Black feminist literary thought, the reparations movement and Black struggle in the 21st century. DeSantis asserted that the draft form of the College Board’s AP African American studies course was so educationally deficient that it warranted extensive revisions before being an acceptable curricular offering for students.

It is ironic that as we celebrate Black History Month, with all of its references to the struggles and fight for freedom of Black people, political forces seek to shape AP African American studies into a more palatable curriculum. AP African American studies, and education in general, is not simply the imparting of information. Borrowing from the ideas of Brazilian educator Paulo Friere, AP African American studies should give students the ability to look critically at the history and experiences of Black people and to develop understanding and deeper insights through the process of questioning and dialogue.

However, that is not the type of AP African American studies that DeSantis and his allies want. In the words of Friere, they want “education for domestication,” where critical examinations and discussions of topics like Black Lives Matter movement and reparations are viewed to be too incendiary for the purposes of perpetuating and maintaining the status quo.

Read the complete article in Detroit Free Press