Black History Month #CantBeErased

Black History Can't Be Erased

In recent years, there has been an overwhelming push toward the erasure of African American history — or simply honest American history — from school curricula across the country. Since 2021, 44 states have introduced bills or taken steps toward restricting the teaching of so-called critical race theory (CRT), banning books, and or censoring the ways in which race can be discussed in classrooms. And the threats continue.

As we celebrate Black History Month, Ed Trust asks, what stories are educators allowed to tell students about Black history?

This year, we are focused on taking a stand against the threats waged on schools and educators who dare to teach true American history in classrooms. Our campaign, “Can’t Be Erased” (#CantBeErased) highlights the importance of the work of various banned Black authors and how a continuous move towards repression is ultimately regressive education.

We’ve compiled a list of reading materials and resources that are useful in the fight against the censorship. Take a deeper dive below.

The 1619 Project

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story builds on the NY Times’ “1619 Project,” which reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. The project is banned in several states.

The Hate U Give

Inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Angie Thomas released “The Hate U Give,” a book about a teen girl who witnesses her friend die by police brutality. The book has been banned in school libraries because it is thought to promote an anti-police message.

Invisible Man

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison is about an unnamed Black man who tells you his life story in a racially divided society that refuses to see him as human. This book was the first by Black author to win the US National Book Award for fiction in 1953.

The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is about a young Black girl who is consistently called “ugly” because of her dark skin and kinky hair. This book is a powerful examination of the nation’s obsession with beauty and conformity that asks questions about race, class, and gender.

All American Boys

All American Boys is a novel about two high school boys who confront racism and police brutality in the town of Springfield. This book was banned and challenged for its divisive topics and for containing “too much of a sensitive matter right now”.

Monday’s Not Coming

In Monday’s Not Coming, Claudia Coleman narrates the story of how her best friend, Monday Charles, disappeared for a year, and only Claudia seemed to notice or care. This book was inspired by the numerous disappearances of young Black girls in the U.S.