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ABC, CNN, and MSNBC link Emmett Till monument to Florida's slavery curriculum, featuring Jason Aldean

Mainstream media reports on Emmett Till monument and Florida's history standards.

ABC, CNN, and MSNBC, three mainstream media outlets, recently covered the unveiling of a new monument honoring Emmett Till and tied it to the discussion surrounding Florida's African American history standards. The monument, named the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument, was created by President Biden on what would have been Till's 82nd birthday. The monument aims to honor Till, a 14-year-old lynching victim, and his mother, who played a significant role in sparking the Civil Rights movement by choosing to have an open casket at her son's funeral.

During the coverage of the monument unveiling, reporters were quick to draw connections between the monument and the ongoing debate over the teaching of Black history in Florida. The Florida Board of Education's decision to include the idea that some slaves may have benefited from the skills they developed has sparked controversy. However, the White House argues that monuments like the one honoring Till will help provide a more comprehensive understanding of our nation's history.

One example of this coverage came from ABC White House correspondent Mary Bruce, who reported on "Good Morning America" that the president's announcement coincided with a polarizing debate over the teaching of Black history. Similarly, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell highlighted the accusations against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for attempting to "whitewash slavery" in the state's history curriculum. Mitchell emphasized the importance of remembering the legacy of events that occurred as recently as the 1950s and '60s, and even suggested a connection between the monument and a popular song by country star Jason Aldean, which was filmed at a location associated with a historical lynching and race riot.

CNN White House correspondent Arlette Saenz also tied the monument unveiling to the discussion surrounding Florida's slavery guidelines, noting that the White House has been vocal about the need to address the teaching of painful moments in U.S. history. Vice President Kamala Harris recently visited Florida to discuss the guidelines, but her criticism of them has been met with pushback from scholars involved in crafting the curriculum. Dr. William Allen, one of the academics involved, stated that the vice president's criticism was based on a single error and called it "categorically false."

Both Harris and President Biden referenced Florida's Black history standards during the event for the monument. Harris criticized those who teach that enslaved people benefited from slavery and warned against forgetting the past. Biden emphasized the importance of learning the truth about our country, including the good and the bad, and rejected attempts to ban books or bury history.

Overall, the coverage of the monument unveiling and its connection to Florida's African American history standards showcased the ongoing debate over how Black history is taught in schools. The media outlets highlighted the controversy surrounding the curriculum and the efforts by the White House to address the issue. The coverage also touched on related topics, such as the use of historical locations in popular culture and the need to confront the reality of the past.

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