Home » Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis knows exactly what he’s doing with his war on books

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis knows exactly what he’s doing with his war on books

by The Grio

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during an election night watch party at the Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, on November 8, 2022. (Photo by GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

As we celebrate a Black History Month like no other, people are now faced with the reality that in places like Florida, books that discuss Black history or even mention Black people are now illegal.

Doing his best impression of a white segregationist from the 1950s South, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a war on books that may cause white tears — topics such as race, gender, sexuality, LGBTQ+ people, class, oppression and social justice. Under Florida’s Stop Woke Act, teachers cannot discuss these topics in class under the threat of felony charges, forcing them to remove books on these subjects.     

And Duval County — where Jacksonville, Florida’s largest city, is located — is at the center of the war on books, as the journalist Benjamin Dixon breaks down in a recent podcast. In an effort to avoid criminal prosecution, county officials have removed at least 176 books, according to PEN America. These books have been pulled from the shelves so they can be “evaluated by a media specialist” trained by the Florida Department of Education. But we know this will never happen and these books will be forever removed from the shelves.

What is stunning is the sheer number of books that are prohibited for simply mentioning race, racism or Black people.

Among these banned books is “Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates” by Jonah Winter and Raúl Colón. The book chronicles the life of the legendary baseball player and his experiences with racism and community activism. Another banned book about a baseball legend is “Henry Aaron’s Dream,” a story on Hank Aaron…

Read the full article here

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