As part of my quest to promote factual black history that is integral to American history, I wish to call attention to how some legacy media is misinforming the public about books being banned in Florida.
Contrary to assertions in some disingenuous media outlets, the poem "The Hill We Climb" by Amanda Gorman, a young black woman, was not banned at all. Even CNN reported the story correctly. See the article "Amanda Gorman is ‘gutted’ by school district’s decision to restrict her poem after a parent complained it contained ‘hate messages.’"
Here are key passages extracted from the CNN article. "Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesperson Elmo Lugo said: 'No literature (books or poem) has been banned or removed. It was determined at the school that ‘The Hill We Climb’ is better suited for middle school students and, it was shelved in the middle school section of the media center. The book remains available in the media center.'"
Snopes, which has been called out frequently for politically biased "fact-checks," rated the "Florida’s Anti-Woke banned book list" as satire. Snopes should have labeled it false. Note that American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten admitted to sharing a false tweet claiming that certain books were banned in Florida.
In reality, no books were banned in Florida and the issue has nothing to do with the state. For instance, a Florida school district's material review committee, comprised of staff members at the school, reviewed four books. They ultimately concluded one of those books "Countries of News: Cuba" was "balanced and age-appropriate" and would therefore remain on the library shelves. The other three, however, were deemed "more appropriate" for middle school-aged children, and are now in the middle school's library.
Interestingly, Florida has not banned "To Kill a Mockingbird." In fact, Florida RECOMMENDS the book in 8th grade. However, the book was banned by a progressive district in California in 2020. Also, in 2020, the liberal-leaning City of Burbank, California banned five well-known titles: “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, “The Cay” by Theodore Taylor, “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred D. Taylor, and “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck.
Clearly, there is a double standard when the legacy media reports about progressive states versus conservative states.