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Pink announced Monday she plans to hand out 2,000 banned books during her four concert dates in Florida. “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,” she said in a press release.
The three-time Grammy-winning singer announced her collaboration with the national free speech organization PEN America during an Instagram Live with Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in the U.S. Pink will also work with bookseller Books & Books to distribute four books from PEN America’s Index of Banned Books: Todd Parr’s “The Family Book,” Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb,” Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” and Stacia Deutsch’s “Girls Who Code.”
Florida leads the country in book bans. In a study during the 2022 to 2023 school year, PEN America recorded more than 3,300 book bans across the U.S., a 33% jump from the previous school year. Of those books, 40% of the bans occur in Florida school districts, with 1,406 books off the shelf. Texas placed second with 625 bans. Book bans most often target female authors, LGBTQ authors, and authors of color. For example, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, backed by Florida governor and presidential candidate Ron Desantis, prohibits K-12 teachers from discussing sexuality and gender identity in schools.
“It’s especially hateful to see authorities take aim at books about race and racism and against LGBTQ authors and those of color,” Pink added in her statement.
The pop singer has planned performances in Miami and Sunrise, Florida, on Nov. 13 and 14, and two shows in Orlando on Nov. 18 and 19 to close out her Trustfall tour. She will hand out books on Florida’s banned list at each show.
“We have made so many strides toward equality in this country and no one should want to see this progress reversed,” Pink said.