Jacqueline Woodson

A wide-ranging ban on books in a southern Pennsylvania school district has been reversed following widespread protests and criticism.

The ban, which was implemented last October by the Central York school board, focused almost entirely on titles by or about people of colour, with a lengthy list of works by acclaimed authors including Jacqueline Woodson, Ijeoma Oluo and Ibram X Kendi all prohibited. Teachers were informed that titles including Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography and children’s books about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr were also banned, along with articles and videos, including a documentary about the writing of James Baldwin.

While school officials told CNN the educational resources were not banned, rather “frozen” while the board vetted them, the situation continued for almost a year. One teacher, who chose to remain anonymous, described the ban as “disgusting” to local paper the York Dispatch, adding: “Let’s just call it what it is – every author on that list is a Black voice.”