In January, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education banned the College Board‘s advanced African American Studies course from being taught in the state’s public schools. The FDOE issued a statement that said the course was a violation of state law and lacked historical value. On Feb. 1, ironically the first day of Black History Month, the College Board announced it had pared back its advanced placement (AP) African American studies. The College Board’s decision seemed to be made after Florida officials rejected the College Board course, although the board claimed otherwise.
For many Black Americans, it feels like Black history is under attack.
Writer Rann Miller has written a children’s book in hopes of educating people about Black history.
The book “Resistance Stories from Black History for Kids” will be published March 7, 2023, by Ulysses Press. It will be available at bookstores and online.
“In it I explore the true origins of Black History versus beginning at enslavement like most history books, share how Africans resisted their captors through escape, sabotage, or revolt, celebrate the spirit of our people who never stopped fighting, and more,” Miller wrote.
Miller uses “Resistance Stories” to deliver Black history from a Black perspective.
“Black history is too often taught from the perspective of white people, so our agency gets lost. Children learn that freedom was something given, versus something taken, something earned through countless struggles and unyielding, unstoppable resistance. My goal is to remind people of that, sharing the accurate portrayal of Black history few children are taught in the classroom,” he wrote.
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Rann Miller, a freelance writer who writes for The Moguldom Nation, is the director of anti-bias and DEI initiatives as well as a high school social studies teacher for a school district located in Southern New Jersey. He’s also the founder of the Urban Education Mixtape, supporting urban educators and parents of students in urban schools.
His book, “Resistance Stories from Black History for Kids,” includes fairly unknown history such as “The Battle of Pine Swamp at Timbuctoo.” The Battle of Pine Swamp, in Timbuctoo, New Jersey, took place in 1860. Well-known slave catcher George Alberti was attempting to capture an escaped slave named Perry Simmons who was living in Timbuctoo. Alberti and his posse were run out of town by an uprising of the residents, according to New Jersey State Library.
The book also includes chapters on Harriet Tubman, “The Origin and Purpose of Black History Month,” “The King’s Speech,” From Civil Rights to Human Rights,” among other topics.
Miller said that when he was in high school, he realized the more “European history I learned, the more my mind raced back to the question-where was the course on African studies?”
So, now as an adult, he has decided to deliver it himself.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto: https://www.pexels.com/photo/focused-black-father-and-daughter-playing-with-wooden-puzzle-sitting-on-floor-4545991/