As the fight against critical race theory continues in American schools, black authors say their work is caught in the crossfire.
Medalist Newbery Author Jerry Crafts Recount NBCBLK he was shocked to learn that several of his titles had been pulled from a school library in Katy, Texas. Critics, mostly from patrons and parents, claim that Craft’s Class law and critically acclaimed New kid taught children critical race theory.
“I was caught off guard,” said Craft. “I felt bad for the kids because I know how much they love ‘New Kid’ and ‘Class Act’. I know what my school visits are for.… I felt bad if there were any children who could not benefit from it. ”
His virtual visit to the city’s independent school district was also postponed following reluctance by school officials against critical race theory in the curriculum.
While Craft books ultimately weren’t banned in the school district, it’s part of a larger problem plaguing black writers across the country. Their works are being taken out of school libraries because people assume it teaches critical race theory when the works are simply written by and about people of color, according to reporters.
The American Library Association (ALA) found that 273 books were reportedly affected by censorship attempts in 2020. Many of those titles contained content highlighting race, gender and sexuality, the researchers said. There were at least 230 challenges in September alone, the organization told NBCBLK.
Deborah Caldwell-Pierre, the director of the ALA office for intellectual freedom, called these challenges a violation of First Amendment rights.
“We are discouraged that there is this organized campaign to remove the voices of marginalized communities from the shelves of school libraries,” Caldwell-Stone said. “We are particularly discouraged that elected officials who have a duty to uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are also continuing their efforts to suppress these books. “
You can read more about the situation here.
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