Official Press Release from Congress Member Jamaal Bowman
Friday, amidst Florida Governor Ron DeSantis attempts to remove Black history from public education, Congressman Jamaal Bowman sent a care package with a reading list to the governor.
In under four-and-a-half minutes, Rep. Bowman schools Governor DeSantis’ fear of telling the truth and recent decisions for curricula in public education from K-12 to state universities.
On Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist:
“I’m a former educator and I love to read books. So we’re going to start with this book, How to be an Anti-Racist. Now, again, I know it’s triggering. It’s a book. It’s talking about race and racism. But it’s something you should definitely take a look at. Share it with your cabinet, because it will help you to be more enlightened and more engaged in the education process.”
On Governor DeSantis preventing AP African American Studies from being taught:
“In all seriousness, let’s discuss why this is problematic. You are trying to erase my history. You are trying to erase my culture and my heritage. And as a Black man, if I don’t have knowledge of myself and knowledge of my history, how can I properly contribute to society?”
“You take away my history, you take away my self-determination, and you leave me vulnerable to be oppressed and colonized by people who have done the same thing to my ancestors. If we don’t have knowledge of each others’ race and culture, background and ethnicity, we don’t have empathy as part of our democracy. And without empathy, we have violence. We have despair.”
“The banning of books, the banning of AP African American History, the fear of learning about another’s perspective or opinion or culture. These are the things that are wrong with America. And that is why it’s not just on me, but it’s on everyone to push back against this.”