Black history booms as states restrict it

This Black History month has seen Republican states limiting Black history lessons in public schools. 

It also comes at the same time that scholars are producing groundbreaking new works around art, slavery, civil rights, and the Great Migration.

A work on Black history has won a National Book Award every year since 2018 as historians find more stories that challenge the popular U.S. narrative. 

According to Axios, that’s sparking a backlash from Republicans, who seek to limit Black history being taught in schools. 

Many new books and scholars are winning massive national and international awards for their work. The generation of scholars also is responding to current events, such as the backlash to Barack Obama’s presidency, and the rise of Donald Trump. 

And now red states are looking to limit schools’ ability to teach some of the themes and information. 

At least 18 states have enacted legislation since last year to limit the teaching of “divisive concepts” or critical race theory. 

Amid criticism from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and other far right, conservative politicians, the College Board changed the curriculum for its new Advanced Placement African American Studies course, excluding concepts such as Black Lives Matter and reparations.

The National Council for Black Studies, an organization dedicated to advancing Black Studies, is holding its annual conference next month at the University of Florida. Experts say that states’ restrictions will not stop the momentum of exciting work in Black history. 

However, they warn that the red legislations could make it harder for new scholars to get jobs.

News of more legislation blocking Black history comes during Black History Month. February marks Black History Month, a tradition that got its start in the Jim Crow era and was officially recognized in 1976 as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebrations. It aims to honor the contributions that African Americans have made and to recognize their sacrifices.

Each year, there is a different theme for Black History Month. This year, the theme is “Black Resistance.”

This year’s theme was chosen, in part, because of the current politically charged environment around race.

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