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What Message Do Book Bans Send to Black Students?

A new PEN America report shows 41% of banned books have protagonists or prominent secondary characters of color, and 22% deal with race or racism.


"From bills being introduced to prohibit the teaching of 'The 1619 Project' by Nikole Hannah-Jones to 'The Bluest Eye' by Toni Morrison being pulled off shelves, book bans are rising in the United States at unprecedented rates. Over the past two years, most bans are targeting books about the LGBTQ+ experience and race in America.

And the upswing in book bans shows no signs of letting up. This year has already seen a record number of books targeted — 1,651 unique titles from January 2022 through August 2022, according to a new report by the American Library Association. This surpasses 2021’s record of 1,597 banned titles, which had been the highest number of challenges or bans ALA has seen in its more than 20 years of keeping track.

Banning books equates to wanting to control a framework of thinking, whether it’s for certain people or issues or ideas, says Dr. Fedrick Ingram, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers. This isn’t fair for young people, and it creates an uneducated populace, which isn’t good for democracy."

To read the full article, go to wordinblack.com.

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