According to Rolling Stone, pop singer Pink announced on Monday that she is doing her part to help combat the banning of books in Florida public schools and elsewhere across the country.
Florida’s Book Banning
Currently, with over 1,400 titles pulled from its public school shelves, Florida is banning more books in its public school libraries than any other state in the Union. In response, the singer announced that she will be giving away 2,000 banned books over the course of her four upcoming appearances in the Sunshine State.
Pink’s Partnership With PEN America
In her press release, Pink alluded to the “special joy” she has derived from books since her childhood and how this love of reading has given her the sense that she must take action in the face of book bans in schools. Appearing in an Instagram Live event alongside the United States’ youngest poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, the music star announced that she is collaborating with PEN America, a national organization focused on free speech. Drawing on the organization’s Index of Banned Books, she is teaming up with bookseller Books & Books to hand out copies of four titles selected from the list.
Florida Holds The Record For The State With The Most Book Bans
The books Pink is giving away will consist of copies of such banned books as Beloved by Toni Morrison, Girls Who Code by Stacia Deutsch, The Family Book by Todd Parr, and fittingly, The Hill We Climb by her Instagram Live companion, Amanda Gorman. PEN America conducted a study during the 2022 to 2023 school year that showed Florida as the state with the highest number of book bans.
Nationwide, the organization reported over 3,300 such bans, comprising a 33 percent increase from the previous school year. Florida’s 1,406 books removed from shelves in its public school districts account for 40% of those bans, while Texas comes in second place, banning 625 titles.
Pink called these bans “especially hateful,” noting that the authors of the books that are being banned in these states are most often women, people of color, and members of the queer community. As part of the same trend, thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis’ infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill, teachers of Kindergarten through 12th grade in Florida are prohibited from discussing gender and sexuality with their students at school. This provides particular motivation for Pink’s partnership with PEN America and her stand against the banning of books.
Pink’s Giveaway In Florida
Her book giveaways will come during her final appearances on her Trustfall tour, which will take place November 14 in Sunrise, and November 18 and 19 in Orlando. Pink says it is important that the progress our country has made toward equality not be reversed, positioning herself as an advocate, not only for literacy, but for diversity and inclusion in public life—something the outspoken mom has long held dear.