FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 25, 2023


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The Japanese American National Museum Decries Florida’s Decision to Block a New Advanced Placement Course on African American Studies

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) decries Florida’s decision to block a new and multidisciplinary Advanced Placement (AP) course on African American studies from being offered in the state’s high schools. The decision was made by Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration. The Florida Department of Education wrote a letter to the College Board stating that the new course is historically inaccurate and violates state law—although the letter failed to cite which law the course violated and what, exactly, in the curriculum was objectionable. The course addresses history, civil rights, politics, literature, the arts, and geography.

“To deny the value of critical race theory is to deny that race has shaped America. To rob students of the opportunity to broaden their perspective and to better understand the richness of the cultural and ethnic diversity of this nation only serves to entrench the divisiveness and intolerance that have become hallmarks of civic discourse. When we cease to be able to understand and negotiate our differences, the fundamentals of democracy are threatened. The World War ll incarceration of Japanese Americans stands as a powerful reminder of what can happen when prejudice and racial hatred trump reason and tolerance. An encompassing education is without question the most powerful bulwark against this,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO.