Exploring AP African American Studies and DeSantis’s Fight Against It

Raina Dent

According the College Board, “the AP Program has worked alongside colleges, universities, and secondary schools to create an AP course in African American studies. “ Over the next few years, the College Board will continue to phase out the course in various high schools nationwide through a pilot program. The course, like most AP courses, is broken down into units, including, Origins of the African Diaspora, Freedom, Enslavement, and Resistance, The Practice of Freedom, and Movement and Debates. It will also feature work from Alain Locke, bell hooks, Robert Hayden, Dr. Angela Davis, Ida B. Wells, and many other black scholars.

However, the course was met with controversy from Florida governor Ron DeSantis, six months into the pilot program, for covering topics such as Black queer studies and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Subsequently, the College Board released a revised course curriculum omitting topics pertaining to these ideas along with work from various black authors as the Florida Education Commissioner and DeSantis’s administration spoke out against it claiming that the course was “indoctrination.”

The College Board along with DeSantis have been met with criticism, as many believe that DeSantis is attempting to erase the teaching of Black History in schools and others feel that the College Board is bowing down to Florida and their demands.

It’s important to note that the College Board sold 4,578,302 AP exams in 2021, making $32,338,000 in profit that year, as many believe that the College Board editing the course due to Florida’s demands was a response to the potential lost profits from the state. In 2021, 199,428 students sat for 366,150 AP exams in the state of Florida alone. Almost a month after the College Board released its revised course, and there’s no definitive rollout date for the now-revised AP African American Studies course to be fully implemented in high schools nationwide.