The logo for indie publisher Haymarket Books.

Indie Publisher Steps Up To Combat Government Erasure of Black History

In what might be one of the most baffling moves in recent American education (where the bar is already very low), the College Board (and specifically Florida Governor Ron DeSantis) decided to limit its AP African American Studies curriculum. In doing so, they’ve removed several voices who are key to understanding the totality of Black history in this country. This apparently was totally not because conservative pundits got their johns in a twist, and the decision to add a section on Black conservatives (at the expense of authors such as Ta-Nehisi Coates and bell hooks) definitely proves that point. Or something.

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Yeah, it’s a load of bull, and it’s especially shameful that this announcement was made on the first day of Black History Month. Thankfully though, we have groups like Haymarket to proactively voice our dissent:

Haymarket Books, an independent publishing company with a radical bent, is offering related material online for free, with the following statement:

The racist governor of Florida continues to escalate his attacks on the freedom to learn and teach history. We at Haymarket stand in solidarity with all those in Florida and across the country who are organizing to resist. We know that books can be dangerous to those in power, especially when they are in the hands of folks who are organizing to fight for liberation. That’s why we publish them. That’s why they’re trying to ban them.

Haymarket Books

The books they’re offering are From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (Expanded Second Edition) by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor; Black Lives Matter at School by Jesse Hagopian and Denisha Jones; and 1919, by Eve L. Ewing. Along with these books, they’ve gone the extra mile by initiating a program that connects young radicals in Florida with those who seek to actually learn about this nation’s history. Pretty damn cool stuff.

Beyond that, they shared this Tweet of authors who’ve been redacted from the AP program, in the event that students could go to their local libraries and seek out their works:

Community initiatives like these are becoming even more important, as those in power start to recognize the threats that the people present. This is the time to enact these sorts of initiatives, and we’re lucky that our kids have resources like Haymarket to grow and learn in spite of the odds stacked against them.

For further reading, also be sure to check out Libro.fm’s reading list of AP African American Studies-worthy titles:

And please, by all means, feel free to share any other resources or recommendations you may have in the comments. Kids, if you’re reading this—we’ve got you!

(Featured Image: Haymarket Books)


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Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).