Vice President Kamala Harris is traveling to Florida on Friday to deliver a speech that is expected to condemn in no uncertain terms the state’s newly adopted and controversial school curriculum that critics say whitewashes Black history in America.
Keep reading to find out how to watch a livestream of her remarks set to be delivered from Jacksonville.
Black history in Florida
In case you’ve missed it, Florida has been at the center of a conservative-led movement against so-called “woke” ideologies that include how — and if — Black history should be taught to students in schools.
On Wednesday, the Florida Board of Education unanimously approved the new measures in the face of demonstrated opposition in a state that has been dedicated to eliminating Black studies courses. Just one of the seven board members is a person of color.
Board member MaryLynn Magar — a white woman who was appointed just four months ago by Gov. Ron DeSantis, an open opponent of teaching Black history who has also openly disrespected Harris — defended the new curriculum.
“Everything is there,” Magar told the Tallahassee Democrat this week. “The darkest parts of our history are addressed, and I’m very proud of the task force,” Magar continued before adding: “I can confidently say that the DOE and the task force believe that African American history is American history, and that’s represented in those standards.”
Civil rights groups beg to differ with that characterization that they say glasses over important context when it comes to Black history.
“It is imperative that we understand that the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow were a violation of human rights and represent the darkest period in American history,” NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “We refuse to go back.”
The new curriculum was adopted months after DeSantis defended the state rejecting AP African American studies courses from being taught in schools, calling it “radical.”
In fact, the Republican presidential candidate has proudly recently proclaimed that “DEI is over in Florida,” a reference to efforts to bring diversity, equity and inclusion to areas where there are none, including and especially educational curriculum.
Not to be outdone, just days before Juneteenth last month, DeSantis took steps to slash state funds that were reserved for Black history education programs, making no secret of his intent.
Vice President Kamala Harris
Harris may have given a sneak peek of the address she is expected to deliver on Friday afternoon just 24 hours earlier.
That was when the vice president addressed Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.’s 56th national convention and didn’t mince words when referencing the educational developments in the Sunshine State.
“They push forward revisionist history,” Harris emphasized to the audience in Indianapolis. “Just yesterday in the state of Florida, they decided middle school students will be taught that enslaved people benefited from slavery. They insult us in an attempt to gaslight us, and we will not stand for it.”
It is likely Harris will bring that same passion and energy to Jacksonville on Friday.
Harris is expected to deliver her remarks around 3:45 p.m. ET.
To watch a livestream of Harris’ speech in Florida, click here or you can view it below.
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