It’s September and the babies are just getting back to school but the devil is already out to play—he don’t sleep, y’all. Just when I was trying to enjoy my Earth, Wind & Fire (if you know, you know), a colleague sent a link that a whole school district in Pennsylvania done sent out a banned book list targeting Black and Brown authors.
Can we breathe?
According to the York Dispatch, “The four-page list, sent by Central York High School Principal Ryan Caufman on Aug. 11, names articles, videos and books from some of today’s most acclaimed creators of color.”
On the list included PBS’s “I Am Not Your Negro,” a documentary about James Baldwin, well-known book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and even a got damn coloring book y’all, “Our Favorite African Adrinkra Symbols.” If this ain’t some shit, I don’t know what is. I mean, a coloring book?!
Look at this list, y’all. From books to resources to articles, this school district is trying to make sure the babies don’t know anything about white supremacy (#1), racism (#2) and then for the Black and Brown students in this district they want to make sure they don’t know anything about their culture and heritage (#3). Can we say total erasure?
But shoutout to the educators who said, “oh, hell no” and leaked this garbage to the press. One teacher told the Dispatch, “‘This is disgusting. Let’s just call it what it is — every author on that list is a Black voice.'”
The school board and district have responded with claims that the banned list is intended to provide balance to what they viewed as “one-sided teaching.” Read: we ain’t trying to have all these Black and Brown babies challenging white supremacy.
Another teacher from Central York High School mentioned a critical point, “‘You have Black children who want to learn about themselves, and now teachers who live in fear of presenting that information to them. This targets Black people, and now my concern is you have teachers afraid to teach.'”
And for me, that really sums it up. Anytime an entity institutes bans, mandates that’s not based in Truth is with the objective of stirring fear among those under its control. Because if now you have teachers afraid to teach the thing that impacts us all, what kind of real learning environment is that? One void of the very real realities of life. Whether we like it or not, white supremacy is a real thing, racism is a real thing, and knowing who you are and where you come from is critical to knowing where you’re going.
Side note: When a book (or anything for that matter is banned), doesn’t it just make you want to know what’s in the book? Like damn, what they trying to keep from me.
Check out the article to read more about this anti-Black and Brown district until proven otherwise.