Back in January 1977, Canadians and Americans were captivated for eight nights, in a row, by the tv miniseries ‘Roots’. It was based on Alex Haley’s 1976 nove ‘Roots: The Saga of an American Family’. it is the story of Kunta Kinte from the time he was taken into slavery through to story of his descendants being freed after the Civil War. The miniseries received 37 Emmy nominations, winning 9. It won a Golden Globe and a Peabody award. The finale is the second-most-watched tv series finale in US tv history, behind the series finale of M.A.S.H. I was in university residence at the time. I remember walking down the hall, doors to each room open, and all the tv sets on the station carrying the show.
In the world of Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, Roots would, likely, never have aired. With a strong push by DeSantis, the Florida Board of Education has approved a new set of standards as to how Black history will be taught inb the State. This follows legislation passed under DeSantis that forbids instructions in schools that anyone is privileged or oppressed based on race and skin colour. A document on the Board of Education website requires that teaching content include,
“how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit”.
Further instruction requires that teaching content, when discussing massacres of Blacks, that occurred, such as the 1919 Tulsa massacre, include,
“acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans.”
This is like teaching that the acts of violence done by the Jews, in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1944, to protect themselves from extermination, in the death camps, should be considered equal to the atrocities carried out by the Nazis in the Holocaust.
Alex Lafranconi, Director of Communications for the Florida Board of Education, justified this decision, as follows,
“It’s sad to see critics attempt to discredit what any unbiased observer would conclude to be in-depth and comprehensive African American History standards. They incorporate all components of African American History: the good, the bad and the ugly. These standards will further cement Florida as a national leader in education, as we continue to provide true and accurate instruction in African American History,”
I am going to stop now because I am going start using a lot inappropriate language. America, wake the f#$k up.