The College Board is making their stance known that they disagree that slavery benefited African Americans.
On Thursday (July 27), the organization released a statement on the topic after one of its courses was compared to Florida’s new curriculum on Black history. “We resolutely disagree with the notion that enslavement was in any way a beneficial, productive, or useful experience for African Americans,” the College Board told CNN. “Unequivocally, slavery was an atrocity that cannot be justified by examples of African Americans’ agency and resistance during their enslavement.”
The board’s comments on the comparison came after Jeremy Redfern, press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, tweeted a picture of the organization’s AP African American studies about slavery. “Remember when Florida wouldn’t allow that AP African American Studies course because it focused too much on CRT and not enough on history, and the White House lost its mind? Well, here is one of the standards considered ‘essential knowledge,'” he wrote.
Conversations surrounding the teachings of Black history emerged as Florida Board of Education approved a new set of standards for how the topic is taught in the state’s public schools. Among the new rules, teachers must include “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” in lessons for middle schoolers.
During a chat with the outlet, the College Board stated it was aware that individuals suggested requirements for its course aligned with Florida’s new standards. “Unit two of the current framework includes a discussion about the skills enslaved people brought with them that enslavers exploited as well as other skills developed in America that were valuable to their enslavers,” the board said. “Enslaved Africans and their descendants used those skills to survive, build community, and create [a] culture in resistance to their oppression.” The organization also noted the AP African American studies course “will offer a holistic introduction to the history, literature, and arts of Black people in the United States.”