​​Sign the petition to Congress: Push back against state attempts to ban Black history

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has blocked the College Board from testing a pilot of the Advanced Placement African American Studies curriculum in the state, claiming the program “lacked educational value.” Other states like Oklahoma, Missouri, and Nebraska have also renewed moves to ban African American history this year, in an attempt to ban everything related to Critical Race Theory (CRT), or truth about institutional racism in America.

Contrary to the faux panic whipped up by conservatives, “[C]ritical race theory states that U.S. social institutions … are laced with racism embedded in laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that lead to differential outcomes by race.” Trying to ban discussions and teaching about racism is an act of institutional racism. If you never learn about racism, you cannot combat it.

Given the reinvigorated push from state legislatures across the country, Congress must renew efforts to pass legislation that protects teachers and students who want to teach and learn African American history and the impact of that history on the institutions that currently govern this country.

In 2021, Rep. Jamaal Bowman introduced the African American History Act. The bill would invest $10 million over 5 years in the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) with the goal of supporting African American history education programs that are voluntarily available for students, parents, and educators.

The legislation also supports NMAAHC’s work by increasing the national capacity for African American history education by developing and disseminating high-quality pedagogy related to teaching African American history. It also provides opportunities for professional development for early childhood, elementary, and secondary teachers, creating opportunities to engage with local and state leaders interested in incorporating these resources in curricula.

The fight to ban African American history is happening at the state level, however, the federal government has an obligation and the resources to help fend off these attacks by passing The African American History Act-investing in programs and leaders that will continue to promote this pedagogy so that African American history may reach students and teachers across the country. It is a small, but important step in the right direction.

Sign the petition to Congress: Push back against state attempts to reject African American history.  

Participating Organizations
Broward for Progress
Demand Progress
DemCast USA
Daily Kos
Hip Hop Caucus
The Nation Magazine
Progressive Reform Network