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HOW FLORIDA CHURCHES & GROUPS STEP UP TO TEACH BLACK HISTORY AND BANNED BOOKS! (967 hits)


For Immediate Release From The Hill!


Churches and community groups across Florida are throwing themselves into efforts to teach Black history after the state’s controversial move to reject AP African American Studies.

While Florida has pulled the College Board’s course, with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) calling it “indoctrination,” state residents are uniting in their churches, parks and homes to learn about the history of Black Americans, including drawing on material from books that have been removed from school shelves.

“I’m seeing it even with my own daughter who’s 17, a high school senior. She and some of her friends have talked about maybe just … reading on their own and just meeting here at her house or maybe her going to her friend’s house and just reading different books and talking about different books,” said Sharon D. Wright Austin, a professor of political science at the University of Florida.

The efforts began at the beginning of the year, when DeSantis, a 2024 White House hopeful, said he would not allow AP African American history in state schools. His administration took issue with topics in the curriculum such as intersectionality, Black queer studies, the Black Lives Matter movement, Black feminist literary thought, the reparations movement and “the Black Study and Black Struggle in the 21st Century.”

“What’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory,” DeSantis said. “Now, who would say that an important part of Black history is queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids. And so when you look to see they have stuff about intersectionality, abolishing prisons, that’s a political agenda. And so we’re on — that’s the wrong side of the line for Florida standards.”

The decision led to a tsunami of criticism from individuals including Pastor Rhonda Thomas, executive director of the nonprofit Faith in Florida (FIF), who says that Republican officials such as DeSantis are attempting to share an inaccurate and diluted version of Black history.

“House Bill 7 passed where the teaching of African American History from our public school systems or universities was being jeopardized and threatened in a way of it not being taught in a truthful manner, but this watered-down version … that was just crazy,” Thomas said.

The state drew further criticism over the summer after it came to light that new education standards include recommendations to teach children about “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

Determined to fight back, FIF launched a toolkit made up of guides, videos and reading material, all designed to support faith leaders, community groups and anyone the group says is committed to the teaching of Black history and Black culture “through the lens of truth.” Books used as part of the package range from “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates to “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo to the seminal “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.”

Since it launched in late July, 290 congregations in Florida have registered to access the toolkit, with Thomas aiming to have 500 churches in the state eventually sign up.

Other states have also taken interest in the resources, with groups from Pennsylvania to California contacting FIF, including organizations that are not Black churches or part of the Christian community.

Read the full article HERE!: https://thehill.com/homenews/education/421...


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In Florida and Beyond, Churches Fill the Role of Teaching Black History


After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis began waging a “War on Woke,” restricting what public schools in the state can teach about subjects such as Black history, churches rallied to fill the gap. Faith in Florida, a nonprofit coalition of religious groups, developed a kit with an 11-chapter curriculum pastors can incorporate into sermons, Bible studies, and Sunday school classes.

News of the program spread quickly, and now out-of-state churches, non-Black churches, and non-Christian organizations also are using the program. “I had no idea it was going to go this far,” admitted The Rev. Rhonda Thomas, executive director of Faith in Florida. More than 260 religious institutions have already pledged to teach Black history, and the goal is to have 500 churches in Florida sign up.

Black History Taught by Churches Using New Curriculum

Gov. DeSantis, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, sparked criticism earlier this year for removing the Advanced Placement African American history class from state high schools. In July, Florida’s Department of Education released new standards for teaching Black history in K-12 classrooms. Those include a reference to how slaves benefited from bondage by developing practical skills.

Home Christian News In Florida and Beyond, Churches Fill the Role of Teaching Black History
In Florida and Beyond, Churches Fill the Role of Teaching Black History
By Stephanie Martin -September 25, 2023
black history
Rosa Parks being fingerprinted on February 22, 1956, by Lieutenant D.H. Lackey as one of the people indicted as leaders of the Montgomery bus boycott. She was one of 73 people rounded up by deputies that day after a grand jury charged 113 African Americans for organizing the boycott. This was a few months after her arrest on December 1, 1955, for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated municipal bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Gene Herrick for the Associated Press; restored by Adam Cuerden, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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After Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis began waging a “War on Woke,” restricting what public schools in the state can teach about subjects such as Black history, churches rallied to fill the gap. Faith in Florida, a nonprofit coalition of religious groups, developed a kit with an 11-chapter curriculum pastors can incorporate into sermons, Bible studies, and Sunday school classes.

News of the program spread quickly, and now out-of-state churches, non-Black churches, and non-Christian organizations also are using the program. “I had no idea it was going to go this far,” admitted The Rev. Rhonda Thomas, executive director of Faith in Florida. More than 260 religious institutions have already pledged to teach Black history, and the goal is to have 500 churches in Florida sign up.


Black History Taught by Churches Using New Curriculum
Gov. DeSantis, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, sparked criticism earlier this year for removing the Advanced Placement African American history class from state high schools. In July, Florida’s Department of Education released new standards for teaching Black history in K-12 classrooms. Those include a reference to how slaves benefited from bondage by developing practical skills.

RELATED: Dr. Derwin Gray Condemns Slavery as ‘Evil’ With Regard to New Florida Standards

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“This watered-down version…that was just crazy,” said Thomas, who emphasized that segregation isn’t ancient history. The pastor of New Generation Missionary Baptist Church in Opa-locka created a task force after a voting-rights activist reminded her about the Black church’s power. Marlowe Jones, a member of the task force that developed the curriculum, said, “We don’t want to whitewash anything. We want to tell the truth.”


Lessons cover topics including the slave trade, white supremacy, race riots, the Black Panther Party, the civil rights movement, and the “criminal injustice system.” The kit suggests books, videos, and other materials that pastors and teachers can use with all ages.

Congregants Are a ‘Captive Audience’ for Black History Lessons
The Rev. Gaston Smith is using the curriculum during worship services at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Liberty City, Florida. “We can’t dwell on the fact of what [politicians] say we can’t do,” he said. “If nowhere else, the children will get [Black history] in church.” Smith’s goal is to remind Black

Read the full article HERE!: https://churchleaders.com/news/459336-flor...



Posted By: agnes levine
Tuesday, September 26th 2023 at 12:00PM
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