SSN Commentary

Black Queer Studies Left Out Again

Policy field

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University of California, Santa Barbara

Originally published in Newsweek on February 22, 2024.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last year famously questioned, "Who would say that's an important part of Black history—queer theory?" Shortly thereafter, the College Board released its response with a new AP Black Studies framework that mirrored his contention, removing Black queer and trans people from the curriculum, among many other topics such as intersectionality and critical race theory.

This past December, the College Board brought back some of the original ideas that were being considered for inclusion in a newly revised AP Black Studies curriculum, but stopped short of including Black queer and trans studies. Once again, the College Board has buckled to political pressure, erasing an essential part of Black history and culture.

Black queer and trans innovators and provocateurs have long helped define African American culture. To leave them out of the story is to not tell the full history of the Black American experience. With Black History Month upon us, it's time to call out these politically motivated moves and make a change.