‘Do not sell:’ Jacksonville woman denied purchase of Black History books at local Target store

“Do not sell.”

That’s the message one local woman got while trying to purchase a collection of Black History children’s books from a Target store Thursday night.

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When Wendi Orr swung by Target on San Jose just before the store closed Thursday night to pick up some books on Black History for her church’s library, she had no problem finding a handful of promising titles.

“Colorful, they were engaging, they were a multiple array of Black history figures. It was exactly what we wanted,” said Orr.

The issue arose when she went to check out.

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“Each book as they were rung up, they came up ‘do not sell’,” said Orr.

The books, which covered figures like Barack Obama, Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson, and more, all came back with the same message.

After being told she would be unable to purchase the books, Orr asked to speak with a manager.

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“He came over the walkie-talkie and said that he wasn’t allowed to sell the books, it would be illegal,” said Orr.

On Friday, news broke Target had pulled a Black History product called the “Civil Rights Magnetic Learning Activity” from its shelves after this TikTok video went viral.

The video pointed out multiple historical figures had been mislabeled in the magnet set.

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The magnet set was made by the company Bendon, which is the same company that had published the books Orr had tried to purchase.

“Every single book on all these different Black history figures, every single book had a misprint? It didn’t make sense,” said Orr.

When we went into the Target Orr had visited the day prior, the Black History display she’d found the books on was gone.

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There were also no books published by Bendon that we could find in the store’s book section.

Another Target we visited on the Southside Friday still had the display up, but again, the books Orr had tried to buy were nowhere to be found.

“Being able to pass on this education and this knowledge to future generations, that was the whole sole purpose of this mission and this Target run to begin with. So, I feel like Target needs to make that right. I feel like they need to do it not only for myself, but for the greater good,” said Orr.

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Action News Jax reached out to both Target and Bendon Friday morning to ask how this all happened, why the other books were pulled, and what the companies plan to do to rectify the problem.

As of the publishing of this story, we still haven’t heard back.

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