WUSF 89.7’s Kerry Sheridan interviews Sarasota resident and author James Stewart about Florida’s changing Advanced Placement Black History curriculum.

The Florida Department of Education has revised its curriculum for Black history after facing criticism over its previous version. The new curriculum includes more comprehensive coverage of Black history, including the contributions of Black Americans to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

The previous curriculum, which was implemented in 2019, drew criticism for its limited coverage of Black history and its focus on slavery and segregation. Many educators and community leaders argued that the curriculum did not adequately reflect the contributions of Black Americans to American history and culture.

The new curriculum, which was developed with input from educators and community leaders, aims to address these concerns. It includes a more diverse range of topics, including the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and the contributions of Black Americans to the arts, literature, and music.

However, some educators and scholars argue that the new curriculum still falls short in some areas. Dr. Ashley Robertson, an assistant professor of African American history at Florida A&M University, argues that the curriculum does not go far enough in addressing systemic racism and inequality. She encourages educators to speak up and advocate for more comprehensive coverage of Black history in the classroom.

Despite these criticisms, the new curriculum represents an important step forward in acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of Black Americans to American history and culture. It is a reminder of the importance of ongoing dialogue and collaboration between educators, scholars, and community leaders in shaping our understanding of history and culture.

On August 22, 2023 at 5:47 Pm WUSF Public Media published an interview between Black History Scholar James Stewart and their Kerry Sheridan. James Stewart is a Sarasota resident and senior fellow at the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at the New School in New York. He is the also the author of a popular textbook called Introduction to African-American Studies, and professor emeritus at Penn State University. They discussed the topic of the changing curriculum in Florida for Advanced Placement for Black History classes and how to address the topic to help steer the conversation towards a brighter future through education. Stewart believes that a push towards broad participation in the ongoing public dialog is necessary to change policy and the current standards.

Check out the video interview and its transcription on WUSF Public Media’s website by clicking here.

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