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'Black History Project' teaches Black history outside of the classroom

MIAMI - Florida law dictates that Black history must be taught in Florida schools. How it's to be taught changed last summer. 

Led by Governor Ron DeSantis, the education standards changed. Critics say it's more watered down, leaving parents who still want their kids to learn Black history to find other ways.

The 'Black History Project' is taught across the state, mostly through libraries and community-run programs. One of those places is the African American Research Cultural Research Library in Ft. Lauderdale where the students say their schools are failing them when it comes to Black history.

Mahalia Camille is a 6th grader.

"I feel like in school, we're not being taught enough. We're being taught the basics every single year," she said.

"I take U.S. history for 11th grade. There are things that are covered, but it's not in-depth because we only have so much time," said Jacy Nails.

Camille and Nails say what they're taught about Black history at their respective schools is disappointing. That's why once a month they come to the African American Research Library and Cultural Center to take a once-a-month class sponsored by the Black History Project.

Nails said she looks forward to going.

"I've learned so much in this class that sometimes it's hard to even understand what I've learned because it's so deep and rich and what happens and what's happened and what people try to hide. The teachers, they're just amazing," she said.

The teacher is Kevin Fair. When not at the library, he is a high school history teacher. He said the new state standards are not an issue for him.

"Simply creating a law saying don't make children feel guilt, don't indoctrinate. Understood. Now, how do we do this the right way, according to your laws, your standards, and your mandates? Where are the teaching tools? Where are the resources?" he said.

Rather than wait on those resources, Fair took his lessons to the library.

"I, in my real life, I teach at a majority white school. And the reaction is the same for my majority white for my white and my Black students and my Hispanic students," he said.

"Kids, if you ask them what they learned in school for Black History Month, they would say 'Oh my teacher give me a project. You have to search up one famous person from Black history' and they'll probably be like a famous Black celebrity or something like that," said Camille.

Nails added, "It helps me personally find out where I come from and how resilient the people that I come from are, making me feel better about, more confident when I walk in a room or happier when it's Black History Month."

The Black History Project is free. Another set of classes is set to begin in Miami in a few weeks. They're open to kids and adults. For more information and to register you can go to

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