Ban On Anti-Racism Books On Rosa Parks And MLK Reversed
In October of 2020, an all-White school board in York, Pennsylavania unanimously decided to ban a list of educational resources. Now, they are claiming that the list of books are not exactly banned, but “frozen” until the material can be vetted, which may take up to a year to do, according to CNN.
Two of the children’s books banned, “I am Rosa Parks” and “I am Martin Luther King, Jr.” are written by Florida author Brad Meltzer as part of his “Ordinary People Change the World” series. Last year, the Central York School District’s diversity education committee included the two books as part of a resource list of over 200 entries. The Central York school board vetoed the entire list.
The Miami Herald reports Meltzer joined forces with two women in the York area, Hannah Shipley and J.J. Sheffer, who are asking for donations to put the banned books in Little Free Libraries in the York area. They created wish lists on Amazon.com and Bookshop.org and Meltzer promoted them on social media, which resulted in some 1,200 copies of the books donated to the libraries.
Meltzer told The Miami Herald, “You have an all-white school board and nearly every banned book is written by or about a person of color. Race is a hard subject, but nothing good comes out of not talking about hard subjects. If we’re saying we can’t discuss race, we’re doing our kids a disservice.”
Going public has helped his efforts and as of Sept. 20, the York school board has now unanimously voted to reverse their diversitybook ban.
Board member Jodi Grothe said before the vote, “We speak and listen to parents and community members to better understand and address concerns. We have heard you.”