Banning Books and POC in Literature


These are all books that Texas wants banned from schools. See as to how most of them feature minorities and/or queer leads

In today’s society, we have become more aware of the exclusion of people of color from modern day society (i.e. in books, movies, tv shows, etc). Now, compared to a few years ago, we have made some good changes to fix these problems. Is it enough to overlook the decades of oppression these communities have faced? No. Is it a step in the right direction? A small one, but yes. However, when we look at the majority of books who have black or POC main characters, the story is mainly about some sort of violence or police brutality towards a major character. 

Now, this is not a bad thing: bringing light to the topic that has been overlooked for many years is a beautiful thing. But, when every book about a black person is about them getting hurt by the police, it makes it seem like that’s the only thing about living as a black person that is noteworthy. Not to mention the stories get repetitive.

This is also prominent in other books with minority leads: there’s always some sort of violence or oppression as the main topic.

Let’s look at one example: The Hate U GIVE. This book is about a young girl who tries struggles with racism, police brutality and activism after seeing her black friend get murdered at the hands of the police. This book has  gained major popularity, especially after the movie adaptation was made in late 2018. After this, many authors started to produce books about police brutality and racism, since it was a popular topic at the time.

There’s usually nothing wrong with adapting another book topic to fit your own style, but when all the books about POC, specifically black people, are about them getting murdered, it puts a spotlight on all the negative things happning to that community, instead of bringing light to all the amazing things POC are doing to better the world and their community.

Recently, there’s been an issue concerning these types of books in schools.

Book banning has been around since the 18th century, but has recently had a light shined onto it. Many people (mainly conservatives) have tried to get books that contain speak of homosexuality and race banned from schools. Books like the Harry Potter series, The Catcher in the Rye, or To Kill A Mockingbird have been banned for their use of spells, negative activity, or use of the n-word. 

Conservatives are also trying to get schools to stop teaching the impact of racism in America.

Trying to censor these issues won’t make them go away. It will only make people want to read them more. Censoring these topics just because it makes America ‘look bad’ doesn’t mean we should ever stop learning and teaching it. Learning from the mistakes is how we make changes, but ignoring the mistakes or censoring the mistakes shows that you know about them, and you’re not willing to change them. There’s a lot of problems in this county, and banning books from schools is not how we fix them.