University Park, IL,
15:53 PM

Governors State's Rashidah Muhammad talks banned books

Photo of a smiling woman in winter clothes

As she prepares for the 34th annual read in at Governors State University (GovState), Dr. Rashidah Muhammad takes a minute to reflect on Florida’s push to ban African American books amongst other banned subjects.  

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Muhammad protested to bring Black Studies to the university, where it is now a model for many. Now, the longstanding African American English GovState professor said she feels like she’s in a time warp.

“They are trying to erase our history,’’ said Muhammad who is African American. “Black history is American history. If you erase Black history, you cut our country’s history in half.’’  

In Florida’s Escambia County School District, more than 1,600 titles are under review for possible prohibition under a law that expands parental rights in Pre-K through 8th grade education. Many of the banned books include those that feature race. 

Some of the books on the banned list include Margaret Atwood's “The Handmaid's Tale,” Maya Angelou's “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” and “Webster's Dictionary & Thesaurus for Students.”

“They don’t want white children to feel bad about what happened. Well, it was done.” 

Dr. Muhmmad was recently featured in the Daily Southtown. Read her comments here.

To register for the 34th annual read in click here.