“Conservative groups across the US are carrying out a campaign to ban books from school libraries, often focused on works that address race, LGBTQ issues or marginalized communities.” Adam Gabbat in The Guardian
Book bans. This is happening right now in 2022.
The right wing in America are rampaging across literature. Stripping children of essential, wonderful, informative books. Political books teaching us about race are being banned, historical books – stories about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Junior are being banned, and fictional Black characters are being banned. New Kid by Jerry Craft – a sweet story about a nerdy Black kid in middle school – was targeted and pulled from libraries in Texas.
The reason? Apparently reading about Black people’s history and the lives of Black people now… could make white children feel guilty or sad.
But how can we move forward if white people DON’T reflect on systematic and sustained racism?
It’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to reflect. To reflect on the atrocities of our past. It’s a good thing. Then we move forward and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
There’s no reconciliation without reflection. And how can the younger generation reflect if they don’t have access to this information?
My instant reaction to this news was: that couldn’t happen here, in the UK. But we can’t be complacent. If it’s happening there it could happen here.
Black lives matter.
We need diverse books.
For more info: There’s a great podcast talking about much of this and more called “Talking while black” by This American Life.