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Cropped - Derrick Johnson - President and CEO, NAACP
Press Statement July 19, 2023

NAACP President Decries New Florida Board of Education Rules

Cropped - Derrick Johnson - President and CEO, NAACP


July 19, 2023

Contact: Alicia Mercedes,


WASHINGTON — Today, the Florida State Board of Education approved new rules for how Black history will be taught in public schools. The new standards convey a sanitized and dishonest telling of the history of slavery in America, suggesting that enslaved people developed skills that "could be applied for their personal benefit."  NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson issued the following statement decrying this step backward for educational justice in Florida: 

"Today's actions by the Florida state government are an attempt to bring our country back to a 19th century America where Black life was not valued, nor our rights protected. It is imperative that we understand that the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow were a violation of human rights and represent the darkest period in American history. We refuse to go back. The NAACP has been fighting against malicious actors such as those within the DeSantis Administration for over a century, and we're prepared to continue that fight by any means necessary. Our children deserve nothing less than truth, justice, and the equity our ancestors shed blood, sweat, and tears for."

Earlier this year, the NAACP Board of Directors issued a formal travel advisory for the state of Florida. The travel advisory came in direct response to the Florida legislature's aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools. 



Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF –  was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation's first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.

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