The poem written and delivered by Amanda Gorman at President Joe Biden’s inauguration is now among the pieces of literature that are off-limits to one Florida school, thanks to the objection of just one parent.
The poem, entitled, “The Hill We Climb,” joined three books being barred from the library in a K-8 school in Miami Dade County, according to the Miami Herald. All four pieces of work were singled out because of the one parent’s concerns over critical race theory.
From the Miami Herald:
In March, Daily Salinas, a parent of two students at Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes, challenged The ABCs of Black History, Cuban Kids, Countries in the News Cuba, the poem The Hills We Climb, which was recited by poet Amanda Gorman at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, and Love to Langston for what she said included references of critical race theory, “indirect hate messages,” gender ideology and indoctrination, according to records obtained by the Florida Freedom to Read Project and shared with the Miami Herald.
In an interview with the Herald on Monday, Salinas said she “is not for eliminating or censoring any books.” Instead, she wants materials to be appropriate and for students “to know the truth” about Cuba, she said in Spanish.
Gorman, the nation’s first youth poet laureate, captivated the hearts of Americans and likely anyone else who was listening — except, obviously, Daily Salinas — at the inauguration in 2021. In doing so, the then-23-year-old became the nation’s youngest poet to perform at an inauguration.
Gorman was named the first national youth poet laureate in 2017, winning an honor bestowed upon teen poets who demonstrate literary talent and community engagement. The Harvard University graduate focuses on the area where feminism, race, youth and community intersect and is the founder and CEO of One Pen One Page, a nonprofit organization that seeks to change the world through student storytellers.
“The Hill We Climb” touched on a number of topics du jour, including race and national unity, making it especially resonate with those who heard her deliver it. But for some people, reading words are even more powerful than hearing them read.
“As an activist from Los Angeles, her work details issues of race, feminism, oppression, and themes from the African diaspora,” MadameNoire reported at the time.
A conservative-led movement to ban certain books and other works from schools has been underway for the last couple of years now. While critics likely will say the ban in Florida is egregious, a report from last September found that Texas banned more books from school libraries in the previous 12 months than any other state in the nation.
Florida, however, trailed closely and came in at second place.
While Texas had banned more than 800 books in that time period, Florida banned nearly 600.
This is America.
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