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Florida’s New Black History Curriculum Highlights Slaves’ Skill Development

July 25, 2023 | By Kali Girl

Florida’s 2023 Social Studies curriculum is set to incorporate lessons on the skills developed by slaves that could be applied for “personal benefit,” as reported by CBS News after reviewing the state’s academic standards.

The lessons in question are part of the African-American studies section within the social studies curriculum, specifically designed for students in sixth through eighth grade, according to the state’s educational guidelines.

Students at this grade level will explore topics like understanding the historical “causes, courses, and consequences of the slave trade in the colonies.” They will also receive instruction on discerning the differences and similarities between serfdom and slavery, as outlined in the curriculum.

Furthermore, students will delve into the “the contact of European explorers with systematic slave trading in Africa and study the history and evolution of slave codes.

The reference to “personal benefit” is included as a “benchmark clarification” within a lesson that examines the various duties and trades performed by slaves, ” such as agricultural work, domestic service, blacksmithing and household tasks like tailoring and painting.”

Vice President Kamala Harris has criticized the lesson plan, denouncing it as an attempt to “gaslight” students.

“They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us and we will not stand for it,” she said in a speech at Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.’s national convention on Thursday. “We who share a collective experience in knowing we must honor history in our duty in the context of legacy. There is so much at stake in this moment.” 

On Friday afternoon, Harris tweeted that she was traveling to Jacksonville to “fight back” against “extremists in Florida who want to erase our full history and censor our truths.”

In response to Vice President Kamala Harris’ criticism of the curriculum, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who aspires to run for the 2024 presidential election, dismissed her objections.

“Democrats like Kamala Harris have to lie about Florida’s educational standards to cover for their agenda of indoctrinating students and pushing sexual topics onto children. Florida stands in their way, and we will continue to expose their agenda and their lies,” tweeted DeSantis.

Florida’s board of education approved the curriculum on Wednesday.

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