Since Oklahoma officials passed HB 1775 last year, there has been a massive surge of restrictions against discussing race and gender in the classroom. We’ve seen everything from challenging the importance of books on public school shelves, to the silent removal of books from public libraries. These books happen to be written by mostly Black and 2SLGBTQ+ authors. It’s almost been a year since the ACLU of Oklahoma and partners filed a lawsuit condemning the recently signed classroom censorship law, HB 1775, and we are still in the battle waiting for a judgement in our request for a preliminary injunction. The First Amendment protects students' rights to literary expression and to learn about the history and viewpoints of all communities.
Below are 5 books that have been under review by the unelected Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office. These selections are relevant to Oklahoma’s current climate, share critical perspectives, and affirm readers who may feel alone.
Books like these are meant to challenge our assumptions about the world and to tackle difficult topics with ourselves and peers. Book bans are a misguided attempt to suppress these insights in schools. The ACLU of Oklahoma is continuing to fight against book bans in Oklahoma, and will continue to advocate for a wholistic education on important history, perspectives and social issues. We all have a right to read and learn free from viewpoint-based or partisan censorship.