Amanda Gorman’s poem for the presidential inauguration, The Hill We Climb, was banned from distribution at a Miami-Dade County primary school after a parent complained it included “hate messages.”
Gorman, 25, who became famous after reciting her poem at President Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration, moved to Twitter on Tuesday to protest the ban.
In a lengthy Twitter message, the poet began, “I’m gutted,” before going on to add that restricted works are typically written by people “who have struggled for generations to get on bookshelves,” the majority of whom are “queer and non-white.”
Here she said:
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) May 23, 2023
“I wrote The Hill We Climb so that all young people could see themselves in a historical moment,” Gorman wrote. “Ever since, I’ve received countless letters and videos from children inspired by The Hill We Climb to write their own poems. Robbing children of the chance to find their voices in literature is a violation of their right to free thought and free speech.”
Florida Democrat Maxwell Frost tweeted a passage from the now-banned book The Hill We Climb in defense of Gorman. Frost cited a proponent of democracy, who said, “But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated,” before declaring, “We will fight, and we will prevail.”
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Documents obtained by the Florida Freedom to Read Project and first reported by The Miami Herald reveal that the book was taken out of circulation at the K-8 Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes after a parent complained in March that it “is not educational and has indirectly [sic] hate messages.”
In addition to The ABCs of Black History, Cuban Kids, Countries in the News: Cuba, and Love to Langston, this parent has also filed complaints about these publications, claiming that they promote “indoctrination” and “CRT.” The complaint also incorrectly said that Oprah Winfrey authored The Hill We Climb.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a slew of new educational regulations last week, including one that mandates the removal of challenged materials from classrooms within five days of a complaint. On Wednesday, people can expect to hear DeSantis declare his candidacy for president in 2024. No one from Miami-Dade County Public Schools was available for comment when we tried.
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