Amanda Gorman Speaks Out After a Florida School Bans Her Poem
Poet Amanda Gorman, the young woman who spoke at President Biden's inauguration, is speaking out after her poem “The Hill We Climb” was removed from the library at a Florida elementary school. Spurred by just one parent's complaint, the school will no longer make the poem available to students, sparking outrage and disbelief.
In a statement posted to Instagram, Gorman gave context to the issue, writing, “Book bans aren't new. But they have been on the rise…often all it takes to remove these works from our libraries and schools is a single objection. And let's be clear: most of the forbidden works are by authors who have struggled for generations to get on bookshelves. The majority of these censored works are by queer and non-white voices.”
She noted that other young people have been inspired by her work to start writing their own poetry, and that taking this form of self-expression away from them, even indirectly through a book ban, amounts to censorship and “a violation of their right to free thought and free speech.”
She also posted a scanned copy of the original complaint, which is laughably vague, and pointed out its many failings in her caption, writing, “So they ban my book from young readers, confuse me with @oprah , fail to specify what parts of my poetry they object to, refuse to read any reviews, and offer no alternatives…”
Amanda Gorman's post attracted a number of comments praising her for speaking out and expressing disgust at the decision to remove the poem in the first place. She also directed readers to a fundraiser for a lawsuit to challenge these types of restrictions.
Oh, and by the by, if you or someone you know just happens to be in Florida, you're still allowed to read websites (for now)! Like this one here. That has the full text of her poem. Just saying.
Originally Appeared on Glamour