Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks during the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman speaks during the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The world was riveted when young poet, Amanda Gorman read her poem, “The Hill We Climb” at president Biden’s inauguration. Gorman followed that book up with a book of the same name. Now, it’s being targeted for banning in Florida.

Gorman, 25, said that she wrote “The Hill We Climb,” so that “young people could see themselves in a historical moment.”

Miami-Dade County Public Schools said in a statement that no literature has been banned or removed.

“It was determined at the school that “The Hill We Climb” is better suited for middle school students and, it was shelved in the middle school section of the media center,” spokesperson Elmo R. Lugo said. “The book remains available in the media center.”

A parent of two students at the Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes challenged five books, including Gorman’s, per The New Republic.

The person argued that the poem contains “indirect hate messages” and causes confusion and indoctrination, per documents shared by the Florida Freedom to Read Project. The complaint also incorrectly said Oprah Winfrey wrote the poem.

complaint on Gorman poem

The move comes after Penguin Random House, which is Gorman’s publisher, joined PEN America and several authors in filing a federal lawsuit last week against Escambia County School District in northern Florida over its removal and restriction of 10 other books related to race or LGBTQ identity from school libraries.

That school district restricted the books on the grounds that they violated Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act — dubbed by critics the “Don’t Say Gay” Act, which has been championed and expanded by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in preparation for a potential 2024 presidential run.

“So they ban my book from young readers, confuse me with (Oprah), fail to specify what parts of my poetry they object to, refuse to read any reviews, and offer no alternatives,” Gorman said in a tweet. 

Gorman added that “unnecessary” book bans are on the rise, “and we must fight back.”

“The majority of these censored works are by queer and non-white voices,” she said.

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ReShonda TateManaging Editor

I’m a Houstonian (by way of Smackover, Arkansas). My most important job is being a wife to my amazing husband, mother to my three children, and daughter to my loving mother. I am the National Bestselling...