Black Texas parents organized to stop book ban – and it worked

by Ezekiel J. Walker
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Banned books are nothing new in America.

Education, much like voting rights, has been under attack for longer than most of our lifetimes.

Today, GOP efforts to prohibit literature based on “Critical Race Theory” has reached a boiling point for some parents who are now pushing back.

Meet the women of Round Rock Black Parents Association (RRBPA).

About a year ago near Austin, Texas, a local school district hotly debated whether “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” could remain part of their district’s curriculum. White parents demonized it like most books about to be banned, but this time was different.

With an impeccable strategy implemented by RRBPA and over 3,600 Change.org petition signatures, a defiant ‘victory’ was claimed, and the book continues to be taught.

Their mission:

Round Rock Black Parents Association is a community engagement and empowerment network that unifies, mobilizes and uplifts Black parents, students, educators, and stakeholders.

WE KNOW REPRESENTATION MATTERS

Recently, efforts to block books about LGBTQ+, the Holocaust, and stories of POC have ramped up. Yet, books specifically about Black and by Black people have consistently been banned at a staggering rate.

In 2021 Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed a bill regulating the manner in which U.S. history and racial ideology are taught. Similar “pre-banning” measures have passed in other red states regarding schoolbooks concerning CRT – which again, is not being taught.

State Rep. Matt Krause, a Republican, released a list of about 850 potentially banned books from school libraries. Krause stated, the books “make students feel discomfort” because of their content about race and sexuality.

Book Banning is Anti-Democratic

Books that provoke thought about Black culture have been lazily and purposely miscategorized by the GOP.  In so doing, a broad “CRT” brush is painted over any Black book that broaches the subject of race.

There are boundless creative and enlightening books by Black authors which tell fascinating stories of all kinds, a fact Krause would know if he ever read one of those 850 books.  However, many Republicans have focused on banning books that aren’t even remotely related to race.

According to RRBPA member, Ashley Walker, “It’s about kids’ experiences. It’s about Black boy joy or Black girl magic,” she said. “Yet, we’re being told it is about critical race theory — just because our kids need to see themselves in these books.”

Their feelings are not our problem.

White parents who oppose teaching about race maintain that their children shouldn’t be made to feel guilty.

Rai Wilson, an educator and parent of two school-age children, stated “It’s ironic when white parents say, ‘Teaching this is going to make my kid feel bad.” She elaborated, “when not teaching this is going to make our kids feel bad.”

If their argument is based on feelings and discomfort, they may need to get in the back of the line. An unfamiliar position I’m sure.

Learning about race is not a lesson plan – it’s a lifesaver – and Republicans know it. To preserve the sole word of their “master”, slaves were prohibited from reading.

This is the America they don’t want us to know because, for many of them, that is the America they still are.

Ultimately, Republican efforts to ban books will continue. Yet, thanks to groups like RRBPA, Black stories will continue to be told by any means necessary.

7 comments

Black Texas mother and father organized to cease guide ban – Nice Info January 31, 2022 - 1:25 pm

[…] Supply hyperlink Post Views: 1 […]

gregbreakpointgmailcom January 31, 2022 - 4:23 pm

Yes the unspoken adjective when Truimpublicans rail on about how parents should control what their children are taught is “White racist” . White parents whose own grandparents spit on and screamed obscenities at little children who were the first to integrate public schools in the “70’s” are the only ones who complain that their children may become uncomfortable. Might question “why” when told of the despicable behavior of Pappy and Grammy during the challenges to Jim Crow. I’m sorry, but you are just a small but noisy minority of “parents”. Black Parents matter too.

Janice AbuBakr January 31, 2022 - 10:36 pm

Good for these parents. We all need to rise up and stop this nonsense. Your kid can’t feel discomfort but it is OK if mine do…I don’t think so.

Bob Brown February 1, 2022 - 3:06 pm

Its a violation of the 1st amendment to remove books from a library or school based on ideology.

Whats next?

Banning books
Burning the banned books
burning the race of people that wrote those banned books.

Yes its been done before sadly.

Our country stood up for freedom to beat down tyranny and oppression and here we are making the same mistakes again. Only its US now.

“Rise up
Stand up,
Stand up for your rights.”

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