Joint Letter to the Department of Education
Updated: Jul 18
Hon. Ben Gibson July 17, 2023
Florida Board of Education
325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 1520
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
Chairman Gibson & Members of the Board,
We, the undersigned organizations, write to you today with a profound sense of urgency.
After having reviewed the proposed Florida State Academic standards for social studies, we have numerous concerns. These standards purposefully omit or rewrite key historical facts about the Black experience and ignore the legislative intent of Florida Statute 1003.42.
In 1994- when the statute was signed into law, it was a coalition of educators, parents, students, elected officials, and community leaders that led to Rep. Rudolph Bradley and State Senator Jim Hargrett to introduce legislation that mandated the teaching of Black History.
And today, less than 30 years removed from such a pivotal moment in our state’s history- we find ourselves fighting to preserve the legacy of those who dared to believe that Black History is American History.
While the names of those leading the fight may be different, the fight remains the same. Today - in the year 2023, we stand as a diverse coalition demanding you adhere to the law and adopt standards that require the instruction of history, culture, experiences, and contributions of African Americans in the state’s K-12 curriculum as directed in FS 1003.42.
We owe the next generation of scholars the opportunity to know the full unvarnished history of this state and country and all who contributed to it- good and bad.
As organizations who represent the interests of millions of Floridian’s, we ask that you forgo adopting these standards until you have an opportunity to meet with key stakeholders and address our concerns.
Black history has educational value and our laws must be enforced.
Please do the right thing and withhold approval of these standards.
If you have any questions, please contact Genesis Robinson, the Political Director for Equal Ground at Genesis@Equal-Ground.com.