Challenging Bans on Teaching Black History

In 2023, there were increased attacks on teaching Black history, including anti-CRT laws, book bans, and revisions of the AP African American history course.

To counter these attacks, we secured donations from authors and publishers to increase classroom access to the books listed below on African American history.

11,500 copies of Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad

3,087 copies of the young readers’ edition of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks 

200 copies of Voices of a People’s History of the United States in the 21st Century

150 copies of the Spanish translation of A Young People’s History of the United States

300 copies of the young readers’ edition of The Sum of Us: How Racism Hurts Everyone 

100 copies of How the Word Is Passed

700 copies of a selection of titles from The New Press, including: Charisma’s Turn: A Graphic Novel by Monique W. Couvson; Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy by Ethan J. Kytle and Blain Roberts; Lies My Teacher Told Me: Young Readers’ Edition by James Loewen; The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought for Justice in Schools by Vanessa Siddle Walker; The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander; and more

Our staff did the outreach and screening to ensure that the invitation to request books reached teachers and school librarians throughout the country. In most cases, we offered a choice of a single title for background reading, five copies for a literature circle, or 24 copies for a class set. We also collect and post stories from the classroom about the use of the books, such as these examples from The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.  

While the books are donated, it takes considerable staff time to promote and process the requests — and to collect teaching stories. Donations from individuals — like YOU — make that possible.

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