January 16, 2018

Props to Ny'shira Lundy!

The Hate U Give Ny'shira Lundy, 15, fought to get THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas back on the shelves of Katy ISD schools.

It was removed late last year for "pervasive vulgarity and racially insensitive language" after the parent of a junior high school student complained. Lundy decided to fight for the book, organizing an official petition and speaking before the school board on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

"Like Starr, I’m a black female who attended a predominantly white prep school. I struggled to feel as if I could be myself. After reading her story, and seeing how she went from feeling like to she had to adjust to the environment that she was in, to feeling as if she had a voice and that she should be bold enough to share it, it made me feel confident, and as if I shouldn’t be afraid to embrace who I am."

Thanks to her efforts, THE HATE U GIVE has been reinstated in Katy ISD high school libraries.

I paid more attention to this case than the many, many cases of censorship in school libraries because I attended Katy ISD schools for Kindergarten through sixth grade. They're amazing schools with excellent teachers, funding for incredible programs, and overall competitive in academics. I have that strong educational foundation to thank for many of the things I've achieved. But I also have books to thank for the person that I am.

Books are a window to other experiences. They make our world bigger. And sometimes they have to depict the worst parts of the world to tell their story.

Congratulations to Ny'shira Lundy, congratulations to Angie Thomas, and congratulations to the students of Katy ISD. I hope there's a wait list at the libraries for THE HATE U GIVE.

For the rest of us, remember to read banned & challenged books. You can also explore the Banned Books Week site for ideas on how to support the ALA, the Freedom to Read Foundation, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, The American Society of Journalists and Authors, Project Censored, and other groups supporting the right to read.


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