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Silenced Voices: Defending Diversity in Our Libraries

You know there are times we hear what's going on but we really don't want to talk about it because we are scared how others will perceive us. Well, screw that!! Let's talk!!

Today, I wanted to talk about something that's been bothering me lately, something that strikes right at the heart of what we hold dear: our freedom to read, to learn, and to grow.

You might have heard about the alarming surge in banned books across the United States. It's a movement that feels like a punch to the gut, especially for us, navigating the maze of adulthood, parenting, and self-discovery. In a recent article from The New York Times, the reality of this issue hit home hard. Libraries, those sacred spaces of endless possibility, are becoming battlegrounds where certain voices are being silenced, and crucial stories [our history] are being erased.

Take, for instance, Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye", a novel that has touched so many hearts, including mine. Imagine how I felt when I read an Essence article that discussed how this book has been banned in multiple states in the 50+ years since it was released. PLEASE TELL ME WHY!!! It's heartbreaking because this isn't just a story; it's a mirror reflecting the challenges faced by people of color, something that, as a community, we need to understand and embrace.

banned book week

What worries me most is the ripple effect of this censorship. When we silence narratives that shed light on the experiences of people of color, we're dimming our own understanding. We're denying ourselves the opportunity to learn from their strength, their resilience, and their unique perspectives. We're essentially robbing ourselves of the chance to grow as individuals and as a society.

I know life is chaotic, and finding the time and energy to take a stand can feel overwhelming. But as moms, dads, teachers, and simply people trying to navigate the complexities of life, we can't afford to let this issue slide. We owe it to ourselves and to the generations coming after us to fight against this wave of censorship. Our voices matter, and so do the stories we choose to tell and to listen to.

In this fight against the banned book movement, we're not just defending stories; we're defending our right to learn, to empathize, and to evolve. Let's celebrate the beauty of diverse voices and narratives. Let's ensure that our children, and all children, have the chance to explore a wide range of perspectives, even the ones that make us uncomfortable. Because it's through discomfort that we grow, that we learn, and that we become better versions of ourselves.

Let's stand together and make our voices heard.

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