Grammy-winning artist and activist P!nk has launched a powerful protest against book censorship in Florida, where bans on certain titles have surged under Republican Governor Ron DeSantis' administration. The renowned pop star has partnered with PEN America and Florida bookseller Books & Books to distribute 2,000 copies of banned books at her Miami and Sunrise concerts.
P!nk's initiative includes books like The Family Book by Todd Parr, The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and selections from the Girls Who Code series. These books, once banned or challenged, are part of the free-expression advocacy group's index, signifying their suppression at some point.
Expressing her stance against the banning of books, P!nk emphasized the joy books brought her since childhood and highlighted her refusal to stand by as authorities censor educational materials. She specifically condemned the targeting of books related to race, racism, LGBTQ+ themes, and those penned by authors of color, citing the detrimental impact on strides made toward equality in the country.
You can hear what P!nk said in the video below.
“Books have held a special joy for me from the time I was a child, and that’s why I am unwilling to stand by and watch while books are banned by schools."
“It’s especially hateful to see authorities take aim at books about race and racism and against LGBTQ authors and those of color. We have made so many strides toward equality in this country and no one should want to see this progress reversed."
"This is why I am supporting PEN America in its work and why I agree with them: no more banned books.”
Many have praised the singer for taking a stand.
P!nk's initiative comes in the wake of a wave of book removals from Collier County's public school libraries. This removal was prompted by Florida's recent legislation, which empowers schools to control the content of educational materials concerning gender and sexuality.
PEN America has singled out Florida as a significant hub for book bans, with the state responsible for more than 40% of such instances amidst a broader nationwide increase in restrictions. Historians have drawn parallels between this trend and the censorship practices reminiscent of authoritarian regimes.
The singer has made headlines multiple times over the last year for condemning reactionary politics around the country. Over the summer, she expressed strong condemnation for a group of protesters who descended upon Orlando's Disney World waving Nazi flags and supporting DeSantis' troubled 2024 presidential campaign.