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Local Black leaders discuss changes coming to classrooms, say people need to 'wake up'

Town hall takes place in Haverhill
State Sen. Bobby Powell, State Rep. Jervonte Edmonds and Council Member Dr. Teresa Johnson conduct a town hall in Haverhill. July 22, 2023
Posted at 1:46 PM, Jul 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-22 16:38:23-04

HAVERHILL, Fla. — Three Black elected officials in Palm Beach County on Saturday morning discussed the dangers of changes coming to classrooms. The new standards in the state of Florida aim to teach that some Black people benefited from being enslaved.

State Sen. Bobby Powell, State Rep. Jervonte Edmonds and Council Member Dr. Teresa Johnson held a town hall in Haverhill.

African American history textbooks in the media center of a Florida public school during the 2022-23 academic year.PNG


South Florida educator calls new African American history standards 'ridiculous'

Stephanie Susskind
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They talked about Black communities being under attack with the new set of laws that came into effect this year.

They focused on housing inequality, women’s health care, teacher salaries and other topics that hit close to home to many African-Americans.

They focused on the new standards with controversial language that "slaves develop skills which in some instances could be applied for their personal benefit."

“Black history is not a Martin Luther King here, Rosa Parks there and completely negating the negative impacts and the things that this country has done to black people,” Powell, representing District 30, said. “Yes, there are going to be stories of triumph, but we need to tell the whole story. To tell a half-truth would be to tell a whole lie.”

These officials see it as a step backwards. They say going out and voting will be one of the most immediate and effective ways to see change in Florida.