Alabama Community Supports Derrick Barnes

Alabama Community Supports Derrick Barnes

The community of Hoover stands behind NY bestseller Derrick Barnes after schools cancel his appearances for Black History Month. 

Barnes was set to read his books to children and sign afterwards. Little to no comments were given for the impromptu cancellation, but presumptions have been made toward contract issues and possible concerns for Barnes’ social media.

Superintendent of Hoover Schools, Dee Fowler, told sources that one of the principals received a complaint from a parent regarding his brand. Barnes’ Instagram is family and accomplished author friendly. The mile markers of his sons and red-carpet glam fills most of his page. What doesn’t go unnoticed is his pride for Black power, which resonates in his books. His latest seller Victory. Stand!Raising My Fist For Justice combines evocative storytelling with the historical context of Tommie Smith and John Carlos. 

Parents Question

Barnes has received prestige awards such as the Coretta Scott King Award and the Newbery Honor, which questions parents of the sudden cancellation.

“At the beginning, there was so much anger, and we were all asking, Why, why, why?” says Ashley Dorough, a parent of a seven-year-old that attends one of the schools. Other families anticipated his arrival so much so that they asked librarians if they could attend. The change did cause disappointment, but parents are eager to move on. 

“Divisive Concepts”

The biggest assumption to the dilemma is the concern of racial censorship in his books. His books convey the Black experience through children’s stories. Red states like Florida, Georgia, and Alabama have made rules to remove books they dislike in public school libraries. One of the first bills pre-filed in Alabama this year is the ban of “divisive concepts” in schools. 

An email informed Barnes of the news. He felt “deeply offended and hurt by the cancellations”, additionally for the experience of the kids. The biggest takeaway he wants kids to understand in his reads is having deeper empathy and understanding for each other. Barnes plans to advocate for the situation through his social media platform to garner support. 

Featured Image by EyeSun Photography (Charlotte, NC)

Post a Comment