The shine of Amanda Gorman’s work can’t be dimmed.
Following a Florida school banning “The Hill We Climb,” sales have skyrocketed for the presidential inauguration poem as well as the poet’s “Call Us What We Carry” and “Change Sings,” according to Variety. The pieces of work have even taken over Amazon’s best-seller list. Plus, the pre-order for Gorman’s upcoming children’s book “Something, Someday” is No. 2 on Amazon’s list of best-selling new releases in children’s books on prejudice and racism, as of this writing.
“The Hill We Climb” was banned after Daily Salinas, a parent of two students at Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes, FL, filed a complaint that the poem, among other works, “included references to critical race theory, ‘indirect hate messages,’ gender ideology and indoctrination,” per Miami Herald.
Gorman shared on Twitter that she felt “gutted” after this one parent’s opposition to her inauguration poem has led to a ban.
“And let’s be clear: most of the forbidden works are by authors who have struggled for generations to get on bookshelves,” Gorman wrote. “The majority of these censored works are by queer and non-white voices. I wrote ‘The Hill We Climb’ so that all young people could see themselves in a historical moment. Ever since. I’ve received countless letters and videos from children inspired by ‘The Hill We Climb’ to write their own poems.”
She continued, “Robbing children of the chance to find their voices in literature is a violation of their right to free thought and free speech. Together, this is a hill we won’t just climb, but a hill we will conquer.”
Variety reports that Penguin Random House, Gorman’s publisher, joined forces with PEN America to bring a lawsuit against Florida’s Escambia County School District and School Board.
The other pieces of work the parent wants to have banned from library shelves are Rio Cortez’s “The ABCs of Black History,” George Ancona’s “Cuban Kids,” Kieran Walsh’s “Cuba (Countries in the News II)” and Tony Medina’s “Love to Langston.”