Educator and community activist Ted Victor was outraged when he learned that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had decided that an advanced placement course in African-American studies his daughter planned to take was «significantly lacking in educational value.»

“Without educational value, like something you can throw away, something you can just throw away, something that says you’re not as important as other people,” said Victor, who is Afro-Latino and has taught middle and high school for 25 years. level and university.

The son of a Cuban father and an Asian mother, Victor was 17 years old in college before realizing he was part of the black diaspora. Learning this from another college classmate led him to change his undergraduate major from math and computer science to African American studies.

“How can you label a people and their history worthless?…How can my daughter take world history, US history, European history, and there’s no question? In other words, she can study your ancestry, but my ancestry, her ancestry of hers has no academic value? she asked her.

DeSantis’ crusade on diversity and race comes in a state, colonized by the Spanish, where intersections of Black, Latino and Native American culture and history abound. The first Gen Z member of the US Congress, Representative Maxwell Frost, is a Democrat from Florida who identifies as Afro-Cuban.

It is also a state where, as in other parts of the US, Afro-Latinos still fight for recognition of their place in American history and culture, while fighting discrimination, including within the Latino community.

By banning the AP African American studies course, DeSantis said it was not education but indoctrination. He said the course segments on intersectionality (understanding how race, gender, class, sexual orientation, for example, can marginalize people), reparations, mass incarceration, and the role of black queer theory they were a political agenda and not an educational one.

DeSantis pushed back against criticism that his rejection of the course impedes the study of African-American history.

The state already requires the teaching of African-American history, “all the important stuff,” DeSantis said last month at a news conference.

But the AP course isn’t African American history, it’s African studies, which addresses culture and the intersections of identities, said Brandt Robinson, who has a master’s degree in African American studies and has taught for 26 years.

“Many of the people in Florida who are Latino are Afro-Latinx. For a lot of people who are Latino, that’s intersectionality — you’re demonizing a term that pretty much describes a lot of Americans,” Robinson, who is white, said of DeSantis.

«It just reveals that what we really need is to do a better job in our education system,» he said.

Paul Ortiz, who wrote the textbook «An African American and Latinx History of the United States» and is a professor of history at the University of Florida, noted that this month 28 Florida state university presidents issued a statement saying they would remove any academic requirements that “compel belief in critical race theory or related concepts such as intersectionality.

“What an insult,” Ortiz said. “If you are Afro-Latino, your whole life has been intersectional. You live, you unite, culturally, visibly these different worlds”.

Desantis’s office referred NBC News’ request for comment to the Department of Education, which had not responded as of Friday afternoon.

The College Board released a revised version of the course, stating that the changes had been planned long before DeSantis’ criticism. The changes came in areas that DeSantis had criticized, including the section on intersectionality, the Black Lives Matter movement, and reparations; they are now optional study materials.

Fordham University law professor Tanya K. Hernandez, author of the book «Racial Innocence: Unmasking Latino Anti-Black Bias and the Struggle for Equality,» called DeSantis’ recent moves «an attack on racial literacy.» .

Hernández, whose book uses legal cases to show the persistence of Latino racism against black Latinos and its impact in areas such as education, housing and employment, disagreed with the College Board’s reviews, which made some contemporary issues optional.

«Censoring some of the most important issues we face as a society also impedes the ability to understand the extent to which entrenched racial disparities are the result of systemic barriers and not the alleged moral failings of subservient racial and ethnic groups,» Hernandez said, who is afro-latin

«Impeding students’ ability to understand the racialized world in which they live undermines their ability to gain the knowledge necessary to make our world truly inclusive and just,» he said.

Typically, students who score well on standardized tests take AP courses that provide those who complete them with exposure to college-level instruction and college credit that they can carry with them to an institution of higher learning, said Christopher Busey, Associate Professor at the University of Florida in the Teachers, Schools and Society program and faculty member of the Latin American Studies and African American Studies programs.

In his research, Busey, who is black and whose children are Afro-Latinos, has called for better treatment for Afro-Latinos in the K-12 curriculum. He wrote in a 2017 analysis of US high school world history textbooks that educators could no longer allow history textbooks and other social studies materials to limit Afro-Latino representation to racial mixing, racial hierarchy and slavery. Afro-Latino history is complex and multi-layered, he wrote, and deserves extensive treatment in narratives from kindergarten through grade 12.

Research from Stanford University has found that even non-AP ethnic studies courses have had positive effects on studentsincluding those who are at risk of dropping out.

While Republicans like DeSantis have tried to restrict instruction on race and diversity, academics and teachers like Busey and Robinson have felt the backlash.

Busey said he has been avoiding speaking to the media, while Robinson said he had to send all his teaching materials to the school board when a parent accused him of be marxist, claiming that a book he was using was aligned with the 1619 Project because it had the year 1619 in its title. A review committee cleared him.

DeSantis recently announced that he plans to block state universities to have programs on diversity, equity and inclusion, and on critical race theory.

José Vilson, executive director and co-founder of EduColor, an organization dedicated to issues of race and social justice in education, said DeSantis’s criticisms and rejection of the AP course provide a model for how other standards can be «pushed down.» class, creating a chilling effect on other race studies classes.

“If you can search for AP African-American studies, you can search for all of that standard more generally,” he said. “This is not just for blacks, Latinos or Afro-Latinx, it is for everyone, because our white students also need to learn this rich history, especially given the density of Cubans, Americans and Puerto Ricans (in Florida), many of whom adhere to his African ancestry,» he said.

Nancy Raquel Mirabal, associate professor in the American Studies program at the University of Maryland, has published research about the Afro-Cuban community that immigrated to Ybor City and Tampa, Florida, to work in tobacco factories at the same time as the American Revolution and the writing of the Constitution in the American colonies.

“The black Cubans as the first migrants worked with the white Cubans because of the language, because of the shared experiences. But as time goes by, the white Cubans separate from the black Cubans,” he said. Segregation then leads black Cubans to create a more African-American diasporic identity, said Mirabal, the daughter of Dominican immigrants.

“Florida does a lot of damage because it has a large Latinx and black community there. This idea that their history is not important is a slap in the face for their first migrants,” said Mirabal.