Books

Why and how books get challenged – Sand Hills Express

Summary

Last month, Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s Republican governor-elect, targeted Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” in a campaign ad that featured a parent upset that the 1987 novel was taught to her son when he was a high school senior.

It is not the only book of Morrison’s, a Black woman, to be challenged in some communities – and as the debate over education again heats up, books have become a flashpoint around the U.S.

A wide variety of books have been challenged or banned for …….

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Last month, Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s Republican governor-elect, targeted Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” in a campaign ad that featured a parent upset that the 1987 novel was taught to her son when he was a high school senior.

It is not the only book of Morrison’s, a Black woman, to be challenged in some communities – and as the debate over education again heats up, books have become a flashpoint around the U.S.

A wide variety of books have been challenged or banned for a wide variety of reasons, according to the American Library Association, which keeps a running list of the most challenged books in libraries and schools. 

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison is not the only book that has been challenged in some communities as the debate over education again heats up.

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Most of the books on the 2020 list – the most recent available – are challenged, banned or restricted due to alleged “LGBTQIA+ content,” “anti-police messages,” themes of race, “divisive language” and “sexually explicit language,” according to the ALA. 

Deborah Stone, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, told CBS News there appears to be an organized effort to challenge books that deal with two broad topics: racism or Black American history and the LGBTQ community. 

Stone said campaigns to ban books may be spreading more easily due to social media, and ALA has seen different people from different communities use the same language when arguing against books – a clue that they got the idea from someone else, possibly online. 

She said campaigns to ban books are usually a coordinated effort by activists targeting school boards.

Books with themes about race are often banned under the “false claim” of critical race theory, Stone said.  “We’re talking about works of literature, we’re talking about individuals talking about their experiences in society – not critical race theory,” she said. “But there’s a real effort to limit and restrict access to these materials.”

Critical race theory acknowledges racial disparities that have persisted in U.S. history and offers an academic framework to understand how racism is reinforced in U.S. law and institutions. 

There is no evidence it is taught in K-12 schools, but its tenets have inspired dozens of states to pass laws that ban critical race theory, which often makes it easier for parents to successfully campaign against certain books.

Under Texas‘ new law banning critical race theory in the classroom, teachers cannot discuss the idea that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.” 

Jerry Craft’s “New Kid,” a book about an African American boy going to a new school that is majority White, “is not in …….

Source: http://sandhillsexpress.com/cbs_national/why-and-how-books-get-challenged-cbsidecc48f15/