On Feb. 15, FAMU NAACP, the Rev. Al Sharpton and various leaders and students gathered at the state Capitol for the “Rally to Save Our History.”
The rally came on the tail end of the various decisions made by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis regarding Critical Race Theory and African American Studies classes and how they’re taught across state classrooms. The decisions were met with backlash statewide, especially within the black communities in Florida.
The rally helped provide a platform for various voices to be heard on the subject, allowing people in Tallahassee and beyond to speak out against these pieces of legislation. Featuring powerful voices in politics, like the founder of the National Action Network, Reverend Al Sharpton, to the various law officials and students all across Tallahassee and Florida, this rally catalyzed possible change with what should be considered studied history.
Devan Vilfrard, FAMU alum and co-founder of the Youth Never Let Up Coalition, speaks on the significance of the rally happening in Tallahassee.
Devan says, “In recent years, youth, specifically in Tallahassee, have not been engaging in protests or are active in their community. The large turnout ultimately shows that we care.”
He continues, “From all the church leaders, the youth, the legislative leaders, even down to the media itself recording everything all day, it was a momentous occasion and was highly impactful.”
With as many people from all walks of life out there, beyond it showing that students and the communities cared, it also showed that everyone wants to have our history and what we’ve been through taught the right way with no manipulation.
Chris Baker, a fourth-year FAMU student and member of the Upsilon Psi chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, organized the NPHC organizations on campus to attend the march.
Chirs speaks on the cultural implications of the march, from this during Black History Month to all of Florida’s black youth and the populous speaking out against these policies.
“This starts from us just knowing our government, holding each other accountable to know who’s in government so that we can’t point the finger and that events like these don’t often occur.”
Overall, the event showed itself to be a wake-up call to local and state governments about issues regarding how our stories are told in an educational sense.
Only time will honestly tell what the effects of this rally can be with the legislation, but it should be said with the transparent and honest truth.