Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities find joy in attending their school and speaking out against social injustices. We encounter numerous challenges at Florida A&M University, but because this is the capital we can address the state’s lawmakers head-on.
Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has led recent changes that are affecting current and future generations by gradually erasing huge portions of Black history. Local high school and college students have taken a keen interest in these issues.
DeSantis has threatened to outlaw diversity, equity and inclusion programs, which has made him a heated topic in many families, churches and educational institutions.
“We can’t live in a country nor state where we don’t believe in diversity equity or inclusion,” said the Rev. R.B. Holmes, pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
Holmes is president of the Tallahassee chapter of the National Action Network (NAN).
Tallahassee leaders and activists from around the country are preparing to take on Tallahassee for a march this week. They’re pushing back against the ban of an Advanced Placement African American studies course in Florida.
Religious leaders, civil rights activists, members of the Florida Black Caucus, and student leaders will join the National Action Network for a rally, which is expected to attract thousands of people on Wednesday at the Capitol.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, the founder, and president of the National Action Network, will be taking part in the protest against DeSantis’ most recent attempts to diminish Black history.
It is important to draw attention to what many believe is an attack on African American studies in Florida’s public schools.
They plan to have a sizable turnout to urge the state’s political officials to take action to preserve Black history.
This call to action came after Holmes, reached out to campus leaders informing them about the importance of gathering as many students as possible to attend this event with the hope of overturning of the ban.
The “Rally to save our history” will take place on Wednesday. The prayer and preparation for this march will begin at 11 a.m. at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, with a march to the Historic State Capitol scheduled to begin at 11:40. Followed by a rally on the steps of the building.
Following the keynote speech by Sharpton, in which he will emphasize the value of preserving Black history, there will be other speeches from various leaders.
“I encourage all students to attend the rally and use their voice. Now more than ever it is important for us to know who we are as a people and stand united in the face of adversity and challenge,” FAMU student body president Zachary Bell said. “It’s vital for us to preserve our history when no one else will.
“If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything. Years from now we’ll look back and appreciate the fact that we were not silent even when they wanted us to be,” Bell added.