Black history? Here’s my story
Black leaders blast College Board’s changes to AP African American Studies course | Feb. 1
I graduated from H.B. Plant in Tampa, where I took Advanced Placement American History and AP European History. I do not recall in either class, or any of my classes, discussions of the contributions of my African and African American ancestors to this great country or the world at large. I went on to Stanford University where I discovered, often embarrassingly, that African Americans had not only literally built this country as enslaved people but also created a culture rich with our influence on music, literature and film. I was 18 before I read African American intellectuals such as W.E.B. DuBois and James Baldwin. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.
I was generally well prepared to succeed at Stanford. But I was woefully unprepared to engage in discussions that required exposure to the breadth of the American experience, including the history and culture of African Americans. Florida’s students should be prepared to fully participate in the marketplace of ideas as adults. Rejecting or censuring parts of the AP African American studies course will do a disservice to students who may find themselves, as I did, ill-equipped to engage on topics related to our nation’s future and their role in it.
Saba Bireda, Washington, D.C.
The boss and the boomers
Bruce Springsteen shows Tampa who’s the boss | Feb. 2
Nearly half a century ago, Bruce Springsteen and his E Street band debuted his Born to Run album, and months later, I went to back-to-back concerts in Mobile, Alabama, sitting in the first three rows. Springsteen’s concert during my first year in college blew away all the other shows that I had ever attended at Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Hall or Tampa Stadium. Fast forward 47 years, sitting in a nosebleed seat farthest from the stage, I watched Bruce, now 73, put on the same powerful concert. The difference was the crowd. In 1976, the crowd was very young. This time the crowd, including me, looked like a scene from a church in Sun City Center or The Villages.
Dale Kimball, Tampa
An end to abortion?
Florida’s anti-abortion movement won big last year. What do they want now? | Jan. 23
Gov. Ron DeSantis has been active in trying to control “woke” teaching in education. But when will he end abortion in Florida? He seems to be avoiding even the mention of it. Why?
Fern Williams, Zephyrhills