You Can’t Be What You Can’t See
I love the saying you can’t be what you cant see.
When the Blacks moved Northeast and West in the diaspora, they showed up in white towns as free people. There is a great book I read years ago called The Promised Land: The Great Migration and How It Changed America by Nicholas Lemann. Essentially white people welcomed the Blacks, expecting them to accept and live in the white world. That is everything from food to books to culture. That was the beginning of the majority of our problems.
A younger Black generation sees successful, hard-working people in every industry that look like them. That is a huge win. A lot has changed in the past few years, but certainly not enough. These kids now have mentors to look up to. They can be what they see, and a lot looks pretty good.
I have such a hard time understanding why we are beginning to see books being pulled from libraries and school curricula. Why would a parent want to hold their child’s curiosity about the world back? Why would a parent want to tell a child how to think vs. let them think independently? Keeping books out of schools is tragic. It is stopping progress.
The road we are traveling in our country is changing. There isn’t a U-turn sign. The banning of books is continuing the cultural divide in our country and hurting the young Black, brown, Asian, BIPOC, LGBTQ, and others from seeing what they can be.
More division only fuels hate and confusion for young kids who don’t see other people like themselves in the books they read. That’s not good for America.