The list of materials include:
- A pro-“Black lives matter” blog post from a New Testament professor at Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology. Biola is a conservative evangelical school in Los Angeles.
- An anti-racism article at the website of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C.
- A CNN/Sesame Street town hall on racism for kids and families that aired in the wake of the George Floyd murder and the subsequent protests.
- Beverly Daniel Tatum’s Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria.
- A six-part PBS documentary titled “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.” It features Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.
- “I Am Not Your Negro,” an academy award-nominated documentary on Black intellectual James Baldwin.
- A list of books on an anti-racism website that includes Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Be An Anti-Racist, Robin Diangelo’s White Fragility, Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, and Paulo Freire’s The Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
- A list of books on “Equity Book Resource List” that includes Malala Yousafzai, Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights; Robert Coles, The Story of Ruby Bridges; and Brad Meltzer, I am Rosa Parks;.
- A list of children’s books on a Black Lives Matter website that includes Carole Boston Weatherford’s, Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane; Renee Watson’s Harlem’s Little Blackbird; Kadir Nelson’s Nelson Mandela; Deborah Hopkinson’s Michelle [Obama]; and Brad Metzler, I am Martin Luther King Jr..
- A list of anti-racism resources that includes all the Coretta Scott King Award Winners for Books and Young Adults; a PBS article on teaching your children about Black History Month; the New York Times 1619 Project; Ibram X. Kendi’s Atlantic essay “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America;” Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy; Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye; Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Here is Current contributor Tony Norman’s column today at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
As it turns out, all of the books and documentaries on the list are still available at Central York High School and Middle School libraries. None have been removed from the shelves despite the district-wide ban and there are no plans to remove them. So what does a “ban” really mean in an era when knowledge is fungible?
The ban is about politics, pure and simple. It demonstrates to local Republican elected officials that the Central York School District is compliant to the politics of angry, maskless parents who have been faithful about showing up to scream at them.
The school board has kicked the can of injecting greater diversity in the curriculum down the road until each item is vetted. So what has the school board been doing with the list over the last year it has been in their possession? Nothing!
They’re not intellectually serious. They haven’t read a single book, looked at a TED Talk or watched a documentary in that entire time, yet they continue to reflect the sound and fury of the least-informed people who show up at school board meetings blubbering on about how their kids are being persecuted for being white.
There is an element of the absurd to all of this, of course. Just as once enslaved people learned how to read despite prohibitions against helping them become literate, good teachers will figure out ways in and out of the classroom to teach their students at Central York High School the realities of American history in all of its awful and inspiring dimensions.
Read the entire piece here.