In a bold move reminiscent of civil rights leaders, a statewide task force, in collaboration with the Florida General Baptist Convention, Inc., under the leadership of Reverend Dr. Carl Johnson, President, has been established to counteract perceived efforts to distort the teaching of Black history in the state. Named “Teaching Our Own History,” the initiative echoes the sentiments of Malcolm X, emphasizing the pursuit of truth and justice for the benefit of humanity.
The catalyst for this initiative arises from concerns about the governor of Florida and the State Department of Education allegedly manipulating the narrative surrounding Black history. The task force is unequivocal in its demand for accurate, factual, and forthright teaching of African and African American history in Florida’s public schools.
Drawing inspiration from the visionary Carter G. Woodson, the task force aims to defy passivity and challenge a system that may be contributing to the miseducation of Black individuals. By organizing a comprehensive curriculum, the task force intends to present a compelling case to the government, urging them to ensure an unbiased and authentic portrayal of African American history in educational institutions.
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The “Teaching Our Own History” Task Force outlines its objectives with a vision that goes beyond rectifying the current situation:
- Promoting Accuracy and Unbiased Teaching: The primary goal is to encourage the accurate and unbiased teaching of African American history, culture, and experiences in Florida and across the nation.
- Strengthening Public Education in Marginalized Communities: The task force seeks to develop strategies to support and strengthen public education, particularly in marginalized communities.
- Establishing Freedom Academies: A pivotal objective is the creation and support of 40 Freedom Academies across the state of Florida by 2025.
- Enhancing After-School Programs: Creating significant after-school programs in Title One schools with an age-appropriate African American History Curriculum, aiming to strengthen core academic skills.
- Summer “Freedom Schools”: Establishing summer programs to impart the importance of African American contributions, self-respect, and personal responsibility to the youth.
- Empowering HBCUs: Encouraging private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Florida to develop laboratory schools on their campuses by 2025.
- Cultivating Partnerships: Seeking partnerships with foundations, businesses, and philanthropists to support programs and events celebrating African American history, culture, literature, faith, and heritage.
The initiative underscores the importance of redoubling efforts to advocate for social justice, voting rights, civil rights, diversity, equity, and inclusion. The task force strongly condemns the dismantling of programs focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, deeming it both shameful and insulting.
In the coming weeks, selected members of the task force will contribute articles through The National Black Press, addressing crucial aspects of teaching Black history. Readers are encouraged to actively engage in meaningful discussions within their respective groups and organizations as they collectively “speak truth to power.”
The “Teaching Our Own History” Task Force’s proactive stance exemplifies a commitment to preserving the integrity of Black history education, ensuring that future generations are equipped with a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the invaluable contributions made by African Americans throughout history.
In conclusion, this initiative serves as a call to action, a resounding declaration that the fight for social justice and equality is ongoing, and education is a powerful tool in shaping a future that embraces diversity, inclusion, and the true narrative of Black history.