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‘Firestorm Books’ Champions Censored Literature

by | Jan 16, 2024 | News

A radical independent bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina, has bought 22,500 copies of children’s books that have been banned from the Duval County public school system in Florida.

The district ordered the removal of numerous titles focused on gender issues, racism and colonialism.  Half of the titles that were pulled focused on LGBTQIA+ topics.

Firestorm Books, a staff-owned radical bookstore, is annoyed by the action.  Esmé Joy, co-owner of Firestorm Books, said: “When we were told that these books were at risk of being destroyed, we knew we had to act.”

With the help of volunteers and community activists, Firestorm hopes to begin distributing the books in mid-January, focusing on states where the freedom to read is facing challenges. 

“We’re working to return these books as an act of solidarity with the kids from whom they were taken. We hope the campaign can connect with, and contribute to, a broader antifascist struggle because book bans aren’t happening in isolation,” Beck Nippes, another co-owner of Firestorm Books, explained. “They’re connected to attacks on reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare in a climate of escalating violence against queer and trans folks, especially youth.”

 

 

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