Attorney Benjamin Crump made a dynamic plea to not let politicians “in Florida or any of the other 50 states” get in the way of Black history during an address at the 54th NAACP Image Awards.
Crump, an attorney who has represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, accepted the award show’s Social Justice Impact award on Saturday.
His call comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that his state’s Department of Education would turn away a new Advanced Placement African American Studies course last month.
Crump thanked those who have fought with him to “make liberty and justice for all a reality.”
He later addressed a ban of celebrated Black authors in schools and AP Black studies courses before making the call to advocate for Black children and culture in the classrooms.
″[We have to] demand that they acknowledge that the teaching of Black history matters,” said Crump before a standing ovation.
“Harriet Tubman matters, Frederick Douglass matters, Ida B. Wells matters, Thurgood Marshall matters, Dr. King matters, Rosa Parks matters, Malcolm X matters, Shirley Chisholm, John Lewis, they were not mere footnotes in the history books – they were the heroes.
Crump, who later referred to a quote from Carter G. Woodson, vowed to not let elected officials “exterminate” Black history, literature or culture.
“Not in Florida or any of the other 50 states because it is so important that both Black children and white children and all children know that Black history matters because Black history is American history,” Crump said.
You can watch more of Crump’s powerful address below.