“THANK YOU” FOR BANNING MY BOOKS: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CENTRAL YORK, PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL BOARD

However, I have to admit some shock that two of my humble little books from over thirty years ago were on your forbidden list:

· Reparations Yes!: The Legal and Political Reasons Why New Afrikans, Black People in the United States, Should Be Paid Now for the Enslavement of Our Ancestors And for War Against Us After Slavery by Chokwe Lumumba, Imari Abubakari Obadele and Nkechi Taifa (1987)

The books, and the attempts made to ban them from institutions, are reflective of current social movements, according to E. Sybil Durand, an assistant professor of English at Arizona State University whose expertise includes young adult literature. Books, she said, can help facilitate conversations about race that some teachers may find difficult to bring up in the classroom.

“Good literature reflects what’s going on in the world, what’s going on in society,” Durand said. “It shows us the ugly parts, and I think that that’s what makes people uncomfortable.”

And comfort is the real issue here. In 2021, anyone with a computer, smartphone or television can see that local white communities see themselves as under siege, with social changes happening rapidly and without their privileged consent. The modern white unrest can be traced to anger over Vietnam — and now, Afghanistan. Control lost over much of the world, control lost in much of the United States.

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