(NEXSTAR) – Did you know there were four book bans in Georgia last year? Although Georgia’s total hiking trails far Behind Florida’s staggering 1,400 cases of book bans during the same period, there is no controversy over books in the state.
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This is according to PEN Americaa nonprofit free speech advocacy group that tracks book challenges and bans in the United States. These numbers come from data they collected between July 2022 and June 2023.
Now it is American Library AssociationThe Office for Intellectual Freedom found that there were at least 20 attempts to restrict access to books in Georgia between January 1 and August 31, 2023. These experiments included challenges for a total of approximately 49 books.
As of last year, Angie Thomas’ 2017 young adult novel “The Hate U Give” has been the most banned/questioned book in Georgia. ALA Reports.
Reasons for the challenges of the book out loud Marshall University, which also tracks book bans, includes profanity, violence and supposed “anti-police” messages. The book was remarkable inspired by the Black Lives Matter movementwhich is often perceived as “anti-police”.
Thomas’ novel is about the 16-year-old protagonist Starr after her best friend is murdered by a police officer. Starr’s pursuit of visibility and justice reflects much of what was seen in the 2020 protests across the United States following several incidents, including the killing of George Floyd.
“The Hate U Give” also covers several topics that are among the most banned, explains PEN America. Of the 5,894 cases of book bans between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2023, 37% of the books featured characters of color or topics such as race/racism. Another 37% dealt with topics or incidents of violence.
Despite his criticism, Thomas has maintained that the book attempts to provide balance and a black perspective on policing. As explained by MSNBCAli Velshi and Hannah Holland write in their July article: “This young adult novel shows the importance of the genre” There are several black characters (including Starr’s father) who wrestle with the conflict between their black identity and their careers as police officers.
“The Hate U Give” is one of the most banned titles in the US and is also on the ALA list Top 10 Most Challenged Books from 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021. The book, which was made into a film in 2019, was also removed from school libraries in Missouri this year and was challenged in Kansas last year.