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Tallahassee pastor R.B. Holmes pushes the state to accept an AP African American Studies course 

Man in a suit and tie, wearing glasses, speaks at a podium containing several several microphones
Robbie Gaffney
/
WFSU
Reverend R.B. Holmes is announcing a statewide campaign to get the Florida Department of Education to accept an AP African American Studies class

Tallahassee pastor R.B. Holmes is outraged that the state has blocked an Advanced Placement African American studies course because it, quote: “lacks educational value.”  Holmes is trying to create a public pressure campaign to get the Florida Department of Education to accept the course. 

The College Board administers AP exams. And recently the state said it wouldn’t include the AP African American Studies course in the state directory. That means high school students can’t earn college credit by taking the class. Holmes is calling on religious leaders to join him in a statewide pressure campaign -- although he knows Governor Ron DeSantis is unlikely to bend.

“The governor is very hard-headed," Holmes said. "He’s very arrogant, and we don’t expect him to change his mind. Because King Pharaoh didn’t change his mind. Herod did not change his mind.”  

Holmes is hosting a press conference this (Monday) morning at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. In a statement on Twitter, state Education Commissioner Manny Diaz highlighted parts of the course the state finds offensive, such as lessons on Black Queer Studies, the reparations movement, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Holmes and other leaders will hold a rally in Tallahassee the first week in February.

Follow @MargieMenzel

Margie Menzel covers local and state government for WFSU News. She has also worked at the News Service of Florida and Gannett News Service. She earned her B.A. in history at Vanderbilt University and her M.S. in journalism at Florida A&M University.