Rev. Al Sharpton was one of many black leaders who led a march to Florida’s Capitol on Wednesday, protesting Gov. Ron DeSantis’ rejection of a high school African American history course.

Florida has been blocking an Advanced Placement course on black history, a move that the leaders criticized as a political stunt for DeSantis’ likely presidential run.

“Our children need to know the whole story,” Sharpton said to the crowd. “If you would study history, governor, you would have known not to mess with us, and education always ends in your defeat.”

Sharpton called DeSantis’ a “baby Trump.”


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“Just like a baby – give him a pacifier and let some grown folk run the state of Florida.”

The march, and Sharpton’s appearance, show increasing national pressure for DeSantis to account for deeply controversial policies he has adopted around education.

DeSantis has been in a public battle with the College Board, an organization best known for producing the SATs and Advanced Placement courses. DeSantis claimed the original curriculum for the class was historically inaccurate and blocked the course from Florida classrooms.

Later, the College Board changed the curriculum. Democratic leaders criticized the alterations, claiming the board made them appease the Florida governor. The board has denied those claims but did apologize for not taking a stronger stand against the governor.

“We deeply regret not immediately denouncing the Florida Department of Education’s slander, magnified by the DeSantis administration’s subsequent comments, that African American Studies ‘lacks educational value,’” the board said in a statement. “Our failure to raise our voice betrayed black scholars everywhere and those who have long toiled to build this remarkable field.”

DeSantis has claimed the state is looking into finding other vendors for college-accredited high school courses.

DeSantis has said that Florida is where “woke” ideas die. He has passed legislation accordingly, including the bill commonly referred to as “Don’t Say Gay” and the “Stop Woke Act.”

“We won’t allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other, ” DeSantis said in a press release about the “Stop Woke Act.”

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