A new initiative by Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is part of a growing movement among over 200 predominantly Black churches in Florida to educate their congregations on Black history. They are taking this step due to concerns about the restricted and “watered-down” versions of Black history taught in schools under the state’s new policies.
A New Toolkit
These churches are utilizing a newly developed Black history toolkit created by Faith in Florida, a coalition of churches advocating for social justice causes.
This was created in July to counteract state efforts to regulate Black history lessons.
What’s in the Toolkit
The toolkit comprises books, documentaries, and videos related to Black history, providing valuable resources for pastors and educators.
Its goal is to ensure that Black history is taught in an unfiltered manner and to prevent its erasure.
Not Just Florida
Florida is among several states where conservative lawmakers have been pushing to restrict certain aspects of Black history education.
Historical Role of Black Churches
Historically, Black churches have attempted to fill the gap in public education surrounding their communities.
These churches hope to provide unfiltered Black history education and address the shortcomings of public institutions.
Governor DeSantis’s Role
Governor Ron DeSantis has been a key figure in Florida’s efforts to regulate how certain topics, including race, are taught in schools and colleges.
He has signed legislation restricting state funds for diversity and inclusion programs at public universities.
DeSantis has also banned the College Board’s Advanced Placement African American Studies course.
History is History
On the issue, Pastor Johnson said, “I find it kind of disrespectful and even condescending to have our governor or anyone tell us what we’re allowed to learn… History is history.”
The Faith Leaders’ Approach
Pastors like Rev. Gaston Smith and Tony F. Drayton use the toolkit to guide their lesson plans, covering topics such as the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Civil Rights Movement.
These Pastors want to ensure that Black history is taught comprehensively and accurately, even in the face of state restrictions. These faith leaders view their churches as a vital platform for imparting this knowledge to their congregations.
While teaching Black history is a primary focus within their churches, these pastors also expand their reach through virtual services and other platforms to ensure that the wider community benefits from these lessons.
They believe that, despite state restrictions, they are responsible for educating their communities on their history.
The Toolkit’s Accessibility
The Black History toolkit is designed to be accessible to all, regardless of prior knowledge. It covers topics chronologically and includes resources related to criminal justice and Black women’s leadership.
It is intended as a guide rather than a strict curriculum and will continue to be updated.
A Wider Issue
Faith in Florida’s toolkit has garnered interest beyond the state’s borders. Faith leaders from predominantly white churches and other states, including Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia, have expressed interest in adopting similar educational tools.
In response to this issue, many people seem to be siding with the churches and against DeSantis, with one social media user commenting, “Teach true history. Period.”
Finding True History
Another user pointed out, “It’s increasingly harder and harder to find anybody willing to teach the TRUE history of anything, without their own self-serving slant in it.”
The Hidden Truth
A third user simply commented, “When someone tries to hide or water down history, they are trying to hide the cold hard nasty truth.”
This Business Put up a “No Gen Z’s Allowed” Sign, and the Gen Z’s Are Furious
A small business owner has gone viral on Twitter for posting a sign in his shop window berating Gen Z cashiers, claiming that he had to close because his cashiers quit as he didn’t let their boyfriends stand around with them all shift. This Business Put up a “No Gen Z’s Allowed” Sign, and the Gen Z’s Are Furious
President Biden Sniffs Child in an Incident That’s Been Branded “Quite Strange”
Criticism floods in as President Joe Biden’s recent interaction with a young girl at Helsinki Airport raises eyebrows and leaves many questioning his behavior and ability to lead. President Biden Sniffs Child in an Incident That’s Been Branded “Quite Strange”
Biden Is an “International Joke” – An Embarrassing Moment for an Octogenarian President?
Recently, a false claim has been making the rounds that Biden made embarrassing remarks about curing cancer. We dig into what was reported vs. what actually happened. Biden Is an “International Joke” – An Embarrassing Moment for an Octogenarian President?
Foreign Migrants Are OVERFLOWING in NYC – Who’s to Blame?
Migrants are being transported to cities across the nation, and there isn’t enough housing or shelter to hold everyone. Foreign Migrants Are OVERFLOWING in NYC – Who’s to Blame?
Florida Is Banning Transgender People From Schools: Trans Teachers and Students Are Now Back in the Closet, by Law
The Orange County Public Schools, one of the largest and most prominent school districts in Florida, recently made headlines with the issuance of new guidelines that have stirred significant controversy. Here’s the full story. Florida Is Banning Transgender People From Schools: Trans Teachers and Students Are Now Back in the Closet, by Law
The post These African American Churches Are FIGHTING for Academic Freedom – One Lesson at a Time first appeared on Career Step Up
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.