By Bryan Boggiano
The Coral Springs city commission designated February 2023 as Black History Month.
On February 1, Mayor Scott Brook and commissioners Joshua Simmons and Nancy Metayer-Bowen spoke about Black History Month’s history and the significance of Black people’s contributions to the local community, country, and world.
“It’s very important that we share the Black history of our community and of our country so that we know where we’re coming from and hopefully know where we’re headed to,” Brook said.
Black History Month originated from “Negro History Week,” which historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans started in the 1920s. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated February as Black History Month, according to city documents.
Each year, Black History Month has a theme. The theme for 2023 is Black Resistance.
When he read the proclamation, Simmons and Metayer-Bowen stated black history is American history and history for all of those who represent the African diaspora.
On a personal note, Metayer-Bowen said Black History Month includes herself, a child of Haitian immigrants, the first person in her family to graduate college, the first in her family to earn a master’s degree, and the first Black woman elected to the Coral Springs city commission.
“Black history is global history; it’s American history, it’s Broward County history, and very much Coral Springs history,” she said.
Simmons also spoke about the importance of self-acceptance and accepting others.
“I love the color of my skin, I love the shape of my nose, I love how I was born, I love that I was born black,” he said. “If you love how you look, if you love your skin tone, the texture of your hair, I love it for you.”
Simmons is the first Black person elected to the city commission.
He said he would teach this message to his two young daughters, which he implored others to do.
All three also spoke about racism still present in the country, focusing on Florida’s social and political environment.
Metayer-Bowen condemned Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration’s move to ban Advanced Placement African American History from being taught in the state.
The action resulted from certain course topics, including the course being against the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, a state law restricting concepts such as critical race theory (CRT), which is not part of the K-12 curriculum. It also comes as Desantis’s administration cuts diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs on college campuses.
The College Board, which oversees the AP course, revised the curriculum to meet Florida’s education law standards.
“Ignoring history will doom us to repeat the errors of the past,” Simmons said. “Black Americans have fought, bled, and died to make sure America has lived up to its promise, but now, for some reason, there’s a disingenuous political movement to degrade the seriousness of those aforementioned facts.”
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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