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Conservative groups across the US are carrying out a campaign to ban books from school libraries, often focused on works that address race, America’s slavery past or marginalised communities.
Literature has already been removed from schools in Texas, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. Librarians and teachers warn the trend is on the increase, as groups backed by wealthy Republican donors use centrally drawn up tactics and messaging to harangue school districts into removing certain texts.
Here are some of the books that could be banned in schools;
‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison
Many conservative groups have tried to ban “The Bluest Eye,” Toni Morrison’s bestselling debut novel, since its publication in 1970. The book tells the story of Pecola Breedlove, an 11-year-old Black girl in Ohio who prays for the blond hair and blue eyes she believes will make her beautiful. The novel depicts the struggle of a Black family living in a racist community, and conservatives have focused on its references to sexual abuse in an effort to ban it from high school reading lists.
‘Ruby Bridges Goes to School’ by Ruby Bridges
Conservative groups throughout the country have sought to ban this autobiographical children’s book by civil rights legend Ruby Bridges, who wrote about her experience integrating Louisiana’s William Frantz Elementary School in 1960. Bridges faced a mob of angry, white racists en route to class and needed a police escort to accompany her.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Written as a letter to the author’s teenage son about the feelings, symbolism, and realities associated with being Black in the United States.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
So You Want to Talk About Race is a 2018 non-fiction book by Ijeoma Oluo. Each chapter title is a question about race in contemporary America. Oluo outlines her opinions on the topics as well as advice about how to talk about the issues.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
How to Be an Antiracist is a 2019 nonfiction book by American author and historian Ibram X. Kendi, which blends social commentary with memoir. The book discusses concepts of racism and Kendi’s proposals for anti-racist individual actions and systemic changes.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States is a non-fiction book written by the historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and published by Beacon Press. It is the third of a series of five ReVisioning books which reconstruct and reinterpret U.S. history from marginalised peoples’ perspectives.
And Still I Rise: Black America Since MLK by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Beginning with the assassination of Malcolm X in February 1965, And Still I Rise: From Black Power to the White House explores the last half-century of the African American experience. More than fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the birth of Black Power, the United States has both a black president and black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies—and a large black underclass beset by persistent poverty, inadequate education, and an epidemic of incarceration. Harvard professor and scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. raises disturbing and vital questions about this dichotomy. How did the African American community end up encompassing such profound contradictions? And what will “the black community” mean tomorrow?
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything, comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts in this gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.
Protesting Police Violence in Modern America by Duchess Harris
From the Civil Rights Movement to the present day, Americans have protested against police brutality. Protesting Police Violence in Modern America explores the history of police violence in the United States and how Americans are calling for change. Easy-to-read text, vivid images, and helpful back matter give readers a clear look at this subject.
The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg
The documents the bacha posh of Afghanistan. Bacha posh translates from Dari as “dressed up like a boy.”