Various organizations across the state are responding to the South Carolina Department of Education’s latest decision to not include AP African American Studies for the 2024-25 school year. Earlier this month, SCDE officials confirmed that their decision was based on a two-year pilot program. 

In response, multiple organizations held a press conference addressing the decision on Tuesday morning. Members from the ACLU of South Carolina, American Association of University Professors of SC, Avery Institute and E3 Foundation attended. Members of the Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce, National Action Network of Columbia and South Carolina’s NAACP were also there. In addition, the South Carolina Education Association (SCEA) and students of the district were in attendance.

“To no longer offer this course is not only insulting to the Black community but also to the students who have a passion for learning,” one student said at the press conference, according to Fox Carolina‘s report. “It is a disservice to those like myself and my peers in my class who are interested in exploring deeper into the again the harsh yet very real realities of African-American history.”

Josh Malkin, Advocacy Director of the ACLU of South Carolina told Fox that the state is taking away Black history.

“Black history is South Carolina history. By their actions, leaders in the South Carolina Department of Education are sending a message that the state does not want students learning their own history, with all its tragedies and triumphs,” Malkin said. 

Marilyn Hemingway, the Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce CEO and founder, told Fox that the decision is hypocritical.

“South Carolina proudly promotes a multi-billion-dollar tourism industry showcasing beautiful places and beautiful faces, yet by not providing AP African American History Studies prevents turning a multi-billion dollar potential into reality, even while numerous studies indicate the growing global interest in African American and Gullah Geechee Heritage,” she said.

As a spokesperson for the College Board told ABC News, the organization supports districts that teach the course. African American AP courses will be authorized “if those courses meet college-level standards as verified by the AP program’s standard process.”