Liveblog - ICYMI: August 19, 2023

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They integrated Little Rock’s schools — now they’re slamming restrictions on AP African American Studies

Several members of the Little Rock Nine pushed back on the Arkansas Department of Education’s treatment of the Advanced Placement course.

Several surviving members of the Little Rock Nine, a group of students who in 1957 integrated Little Rock Central High School under threats of violence from white segregationists, are denouncing the Arkansas Department of Education’s restrictions on an Advanced Placement African American Studies course.

The state is not barring students from taking the class but has cautioned that the coursework may not count toward the state’s high school graduation requirements. The Arkansas Department of Education has argued that since the course is still being piloted, it’s unclear whether it runs afoul of a state law signed by Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in March banning the teaching of “critical race theory.”  

“I think the attempts to erase history is working for the Republican Party,” said Elizabeth Eckford, who joined eight other Black teenagers in desegregating Little Rock Central High School nearly 66 years ago. “They have some boogeymen that are really popular with their supporters.”

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