Biden: "I'm a white boy, but not stupid' on Black History
STORY: "History matters and Black history matters," Biden said to an audience of Black Congress members and government officials. Americans "can't just choose to learn what we want to know," Biden said. They need to learn "the good, the bad, the truth and who we are as a nation," he said.
His remarks from the White House's East Room come as some conservative Republicans, most notably Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, are pushing for changes to the way Black history is taught in U.S. schools. DeSantis is a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024.
Florida is also one of roughly 18 U.S. states that in recent years banned the teaching of critical race theory, a graduate-level concept that examines systemic racism.
Last week, Biden convened families of people killed in hate crimes for a screening of the movie "Till," about Emmett Till, the 14-year-old Black boy whose murder in 1955 galvanized the civil rights movement.
About 50 million Americans, or some 15% of the U.S. population, identify as "Black alone" or "with another race," the U.S. Census Bureau said in 2021.
Presidents in the past have often used the occasion of Black History Month to note the unfulfilled promises made to Black Americans.