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Human Rights

Publishing Company Giving Students Free Black History Books to Spite Ron DeSantis

One Chicago-based publishing house plans to offer free e-books centered on Black history since the College Board recently revised its Advanced Placement African-American studies course, The Hill reports.

And that publishing house, Haymarket Books, has Florida in its crosshairs.

The College Board began excising sections after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) refused to allow the class to be taught in Florida high schools. To placate DeSantis, the board removed such subjects as Black queer studies, intersectionality and activism, the reparations movement, and Black scholars associated with critical race theory. However, the board did add “Black conservatism” as a possible research topic.

So Haymarket Books, a “radical publisher of politics, culture, current events,” has said DeSantis and the “complicit College Board,” have left it no choice but to step in.

“The racist governor of Florida continues to escalate his attacks on the freedom to learn and teach history,” the publishing house explained in a press release last week.

“We at Haymarket stand in solidarity with all those in Florida and across the country who are organizing to resist,” per the press release. “We know that books can be dangerous to those in power, especially when they are in the hands of folks who are organizing to fight for liberation. That’s why we publish them. That’s why they’re trying to ban them.”

The publishing house plans to offer the following e-books for free to download: “From Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation,” by Keeanga Yamahtta. The book explains the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement; “Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice,” edited by Jesse Hagopian and Denisha Jones. The book explains how the Black Lives Matte Movement has challenged institutional racism; “1919” by Eve L. Ewing, is a collection of poems discussing the Chicago race riots of 1919.

“Black people have always figured out ways to teach our history in spaces beneath, beyond, and betwixt the machinations of people like Ron DeSantis,” Ewing said. “The only thing he ever got right in his life was understanding how insurgent our stories really are, how threatening to the status quo of a nation built on theft.”

The company also hopes to provide Florida residents with more “radical books” that can be distributed to younger people in the state. Among the Haymarket-published works to likely be included are topics ranging from abolition to Black politics to police and prisons to socialism and Marxism.

“The struggle is long, but we are many,” members of the publishing house said.

The College Board has faced well-deserved criticism for its revisions to the African-American studies course, which were announced on the first day of Black History Month.

David Coleman, head of the College Board tried to say that the changes weren’t due to political pressure but even so, DeSantis’s administration patted itself on the back over the changes.

“Thanks to @GovRonDeSantis’ principled stand for education over identity politics, the College Board will be revising the course for the entire, nation,” DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin announced on Twitter.

I don’t really know much about this guy, but he certainly has brown-nosing down pat.

Florida’s Department of Education is also reviewing the revisions to see that they follow state law. These laws restrict how topics such as racism are taught in schools and they prohibit any instruction that might make someone feel “personal responsibility” for historic wrongdoings by their ancestors to people of color or because of a person’s sex or national origin.

DeSantis is doing Floridians a grave disservice by discouraging the teaching of racism as part of this country’s origins. Because racism really was the foundation the U.S. was built on — between enslaving massive numbers of Blacks and causing the deaths of millions of Indigenous Americans in what can only be called a holocaust.

If high schoolers can worry about guns being brought to school, largely thanks to Republican stubbornness on this issue, I’m sure they can handle being taught this history. They need to be able to understand the blood, sweat, tears, and outright suffering that went into shaping America.

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity. She can be found on Twitter at and Facebook at


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