Rally targets DeSantis over Black studies course

Florida's rejection of an African American studies course continued to draw criticism Wednesday, as Black lawmakers, religious leaders and civil-rights leader Al Sharpton led a march to the Capitol.

Sharpton, a longtime activist who heads the National Action Network, focused heavily on denouncing Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"If you would study history, governor, you would have known that to mess with us in education always ends to your defeat," Sharpton said to a crowd gathered outside the Capitol.

Sharpton also called for a voter drive to oppose the governor, who was re-elected by a wide margin in November.


"You’re gonna tell the whole story. You are not going to give no part-time story to our story. Our children need to know the whole story, not to only know how bad you were, but to know how strong they are," Sharpton said.

Hundreds of people marched several blocks from Bethel Missionary Baptist Church to the Capitol for a rally.

The march and rally came after the state Department of Education last month informed the College Board that an Advanced Placement African American Studies course would not be offered in Florida classrooms unless changes were made. Advanced Placement courses are college-level classes offered to high-school students.

The department cited several topics that were planned for inclusion in the course, including "Black queer studies" and "the reparations movement," as reasons for the rejection.