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FunTimes Magazine

A Warning from Black History Month Founder Carter G. Woodson

Feb 17, 2023 10:00AM ● By Karen Warrington

As we celebrate Black History Month 2023, the true history of America and the history of Black Americans are being trampled on and denied while racial tensions are mounting. Against this backdrop it is critically important to remember the words of Carter G. Woodson, the African American educator, historian and author who established what was originally Negro History Week, that we now celebrate as Black History Month.

He warned, “If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of extermination.”  

This year’s celebration of Black History Month started with a thunder clap. The College Board had removed/ripped out/erased much of its new Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum in African American Studies. Seemingly this act of purging was undertaken to comply with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ and white conservatives’ denial of AMERICAN history.

In January DeSantis announced he would ban Florida’s K-12 and post secondary schools from promoting the AP curriculum. He charged that the College Board’s draft AP course, made public in August, violated a state law that bans instruction that defines people as oppressed or privileged based upon their race. He denounced the curriculum as “woke” and labeled it an exercise in “indoctrination.”

In response, David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition said, “To wake up on the first day of Black History Month to news of white men of privilege horse trading essential and inextricably linked parts of Black history, which is American history, is infuriating.”

Carter G. Woodson, Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Founded 123 years ago, the College Board is defined as a college entrance examination board that develops and administers admissions processes. The College Board revenue in 2019 was $1.1 billion and $490 million as a result of AP and instruction fees. 

The College Board is legally classified as a 501(c)(3) tax deductible non-profit organization and is legally classified as basically a charitable organization. It does not have to pay taxes. While it is treated as a charitable non-profit corporation, it is regarded as a corporation with a monopoly on standardized testing.

Additionally, as a follow up to his ban on African American AP curriculum the Governor has announced he plans to block/eradicate DEI programs in Florida state colleges. As DeSantis’ suspected march to the White House advances at least 14 states have also enacted legislation to derail the teaching of what they state are “divisive concepts.” There has been a strong backlash by Black leaders in Florida and civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump accused the state of violating the federal and state constitution and threatened to sue. 

Meantime be alert, be politically active wherever you live and remember Dr. Woodson’s warning.

 Karen Warrington has had a decades long career as a broadcast journalist, communications professional, performing artist, and documentary filmmaker. She has traveled extensively throughout Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. She is committed to being a voice for the African Diaspora.

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