After the 2020 racial reckoning that occurred after the brutal death of George Floyd by police, books about anti-racism flew off the shelves and there were nationwide conversations around race and social justice in America. But as the country tried to make inroads toward a racial transformation, some states reversed course, banning the teaching of what they considered “critical race theory,” in K-12 schools.
Most recently, some jurisdictions have banned books on race or by Black authors. According to PEN America, there were 2,532 instances of book bans between July 2021 and June 2022, including the picture book “Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates” because it mentions the racism the former baseball player faced. That book was banned in a Florida school district. Also in Florida, recent state legislation regulating how race-related issues are taught has been roundly criticized by education and civil rights groups for censoring Black history, replacing it with a sanitized, inaccurate version of this country’s past.
However, in the video above, New Orleans teachers reflect on the significance of Black History Month and the importance of teaching African American students about their heritage.
more from verite
Help inform our coverage as we build a newsroom for and by the people of New Orleans:
Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us by answering each question.