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This Philadelphia Nonprofit Is Bringing Attention To Banned Books By Black Authors With Little Free(dom) Library

This Philadelphia Nonprofit Is Bringing Attention To Banned Books By Black Authors With Little Free(dom) Library



According to Penn America, Black authors have been at a disadvantage when it comes to reaching a wide range of readers since over 30 states have removed certain books penned by Black authors. To help keep Black history and storytellers alive, the Little Free(dom) Library has made these forbidden books available in 13 locations throughout Philadelphia until Feb. 28. In addition, 1,500 free books will be given away at one of the pop-up book stands.

“Philadelphia strives to be a welcoming destination where every person can feel a sense of belonging,” Angela Val, Visit Philadephia’s president and CEO, said in a press release.

Val also shared that the collaborative project was important because Black stories and legacies should be honored as they’re an integral part of North America.

“We want travelers and residents to know that in Philadelphia, Black history is American history, and Black stories are worth telling and sharing,” she said.

A portion of the Little Free(dom) Library will house a video series that includes natives from the city like Marc Lamont Hill, Dr. Christina Afia Harris and Joyce Abbot, the inspiration behind Emmy-award-winning writer and actress Quinta Brunson’s hit TV show Abbott Elementary.

“With over 30 years of experience as an educator in the Philadelphia public school system, ensuring students have access to Black history and stories holds great significance for me. I hope individuals will find inspiration in the books they discover and deepen their understanding of the contributions of Black people in this country,” Abbott said, Black Enterprise reported.

The program will supply 12 titles for the general public to choose from:

    • The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones
    • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
    • All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
    • Beloved by Toni Morrison
    • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
    • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
    • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
    • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
    • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
    • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    • The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

All of the books available that are up for grabs were purchased from local Black-owned libraries like Hakim’s Bookstore, Harriet’s Bookshop, Uncle Bobby’s Coffee & Books and The Black Reserve Bookstore to support Black small business owners. Check out the Little Free(dom) Library pop-up stand locations below:

    • Eastern State Penitentiary
    • Faheem’s Hands of Precision
    • Frankford Community Development Corporation
    • Independence Visitor Center
    • Johnson House Historic Site
    • Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
    • Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church
    • Philadelphia Museum of Art


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