A publisher has decided to fight Florida Governor Ron DeSantis banning books and butchering high school curricula. DeSantis’ move is reminiscent of the 1933 Nazi students in Germany who burned 25,000 books by Jewish authors and other authors such as Ernest Hemmingway and Hellen Keller according to PBS. Haymarket Books counterattacked by offering free ebooks on Black History.
Florida’s College Boards dropped books for its advanced Placement African American studies course. Author Rebecca Knuth told The Smithsonian Magazine:
‘A lot of ancient book burning was a function of conquest.’
Republican officials know full well that knowledge is a way to change people:
‘What better way to reshape the balance of power and send a message at the same time than by burning books?’
The College Board’s revisions included topics on Black conservatism but excluded, according to AOL:
- ‘Black queer studies, intersectionality, and activism
- [T]he reparations movement
- Black scholars associated with critical race theory.’
DeSantis called Haymarket Books:
‘[A] radical publisher of politics, culture, current events. have left it with no choice.’
The publisher’s press release read:
‘The racist governor of Florida continues to escalate his attacks on the freedom to learn and teach history. We at Haymarket stand in solidarity with all those in Florida and across the country who are organizing to resist. We know that books can be dangerous to those in power, especially when they are in the hands of folks who are organizing to fight for liberation. That’s why we publish them. That’s why they’re trying to ban them.’
Author of 1919 Eve Ewing said:
‘Black people have always figured out ways to teach our history in spaces beneath, beyond, and betwixt the machinations of people like Ron DeSantis.The only thing he ever got right in his life was understanding how insurgent our stories really are, how threatening to the status quo of a nation built on theft.’
The ebooks that Haymarket Books offered included:
- ‘Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation by Keeanga Yamahtta, which explores why the Black Lives Matter movement is necessary.
- Black Lives Matter at School: An Uprising for Educational Justice, edited by Jesse Hagopian and Denisha Jones, which details how the Black Lives Matter movement has challenged institutional racism.
- 1919 by Eve L. Ewing, a collection of poems depicting the Chicago race riots of 1919.’
Haymarket has published a range of books from abolition to Black politics to police and prisons to socialism and Marxism:
‘The struggle is long, but we are many.’
DeSantis’ press secretary Bryan Griffin tweeted:
‘Thanks to @GovRonDeSantis’ principled stand for education over identity politics, the College Board will be revising the course for the entire nation.’
At this time, Florida’s Department of Education has reconsidered some banned books to make certain it follows state law. That law has restrictions on how racism can be taught in schools. It also avoids any book that could potentially cause a person to feel “personal responsibility” for historical events.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
Gloria Christie is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions, her book written in her own unique style with a twist of humor on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress).