JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Changes made this week to how Florida public schools teach Black history are getting national attention, including from Vice President Kamala Harris. The White House announced late Thursday night that she will visit Florida on Friday to talk about learning and teaching American history.
What You Need To Know
- Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Jacksonville Friday to deliver remarks about "the fight to protect fundamental freedoms"
- She is expected to arrive at the Jacksonville International Airport at 2:20 p.m. ET
- The visit comes just days after the Florida Board of Education approved new policies governing the way African American history is taught in the state
Harris will travel to Jacksonville Friday to deliver remarks about “the fight to protect fundamental freedoms,” the White House announced.
The visit comes just days after the Florida Board of Education approved new policies governing the way schools in Florida teach African American history. Among the policies approved Wednesday, is one that applies to the Ocoee Massacre of 1920. The policy requires teachers to teach students that acts of violence were “perpetuated against and by African Americans” during the massacre.
According to historians, the massacre started when July Perry, a Black man, tried to vote in Ocoee while encouraging other African Americans to do the same. A white mob attacked the Black residents, and it is estimated that 50 people were killed during the violence.
“I think it’s far-reaching, more reaching just the Ocoee Massacre. We’re talking about just our history in general. If you’re gonna water down the history of our country and what happened after African Americans. I think it’s setting a dangerous precedent,” said Randolph Bracy, a former state senator of District 11.
In 2020, Bracy played a part in making sure students were taught about this event that happened right in their backyards.
In a statement from the Florida Department of Education, the Director of Communications Alex Lanfranconi had this to say:
“It’s sad to see critics attempt to discredit what any unbiased observer would conclude to be in-depth and comprehensive African American history standards. They incorporate all components of African American history: the good, the bad and the ugly. These standards will further cement Florida as a national leader in education, as we continue to provide true and accurate instruction in African American history.”
Want the truth on Florida’s African American History Standards? See statement below from experts who crafted them.— Alex Lanfranconi (@AlexLanfran) July 20, 2023
“Any attempt to reduce slaves to just victims of oppression fails to recognize their strength, courage and resiliency during a difficult time in American history.” pic.twitter.com/7pR8GBFu2l
In her speech Friday, the White House stated Harris will address “specifically, the freedom to learn and teach America’s full and true history.”
The vice president is expected to arrive at the Jacksonville International Airport at 2:20 p.m. ET and will deliver her remarks at the Ritz Theater & Museum at 3:45 p.m. ET.
Harris addressed her speech for today on Twitter.
Extremists are pushing forward revisionist history. They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us, and we will not stand for it. pic.twitter.com/ipCXuGjWTw— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) July 20, 2023