Duval and Manatee counties in Florida have thrown bean balls to the legacy of Black baseball in American history. The impact of Hank Aaron’s greatness has literally been shoved into a dark closet as the state begins the assault on Black history. Books aimed at teaching children about how Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente overcame racism to become both baseball and American icons were removed from schools in Duvall County.
Florida Pulling Books About Black & Hispanic Legends
According to Audacy.com, “Henry Aaron’s Dream” which was published in 2010, was one of 176 books that deal with historical minority themes which have been banished in an attempt to suppress the historical impact of Jim Crow on society.
The book was one of two involving minority baseball greats that were pulled from library shelves throughout the county as the state begins its process of erasing the history of minorities from its public-school curriculum. In addition to the book chronicling Aaron’s drive to become a baseball icon, a “Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates” book published in 2005 reportedly has “been kept in storage with little indication of when they might return to classrooms.”
The Puerto Rican legend Clemente and Aaron are both icons in their respective communities and have had incredible impact on the shaping of this country and the global popularity of baseball.
These books are considered “under review” after an amendment was made to House Bill 1467 passed last July requiring books in classroom libraries to be “approved and selected by a media specialist.”
The bill, which is a part of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ agenda to nullify slavery and its cultural influence on Black American history being taught in public schools, gives school districts the right to deem reading materials “inappropriate” if they conclude it “is not suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material presented, or is inappropriate for the grade level and age group for which the material is used.”
Books Must Be Approved By “Media Specialist”
The Washington Post reported in January that teachers were told books must be approved by a qualified school media specialist, who must undergo a state retraining on book collection.
DeSantis is presumed to be one of the top Republican candidates in the 2024 Presidential race and has laid down a gauntlet that this will be one of his major platforms. However, the decision could put the state and Major League Baseball into a political quandary. Bradenton, FL, interestingly enough, is the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and is the Manatee County seat.
That’s definitely something to watch as reports of what Florida’s educational system is doing continues to circulate within the MLB world. Hank Aarona nd Roberto Clemente are two of the most respected and important figures in modern baseball and American history. They endured extreme racism, socio-economic poverty, government and police oppression, while standing as voices for unheard minorities and immigrants. Accomplishing all of this with the power of baseball and the remarkably perfect way they expressed the game.
Florida Plays Historical Role In Integration Of Baseball
There are 15 teams that host spring training in the Sunshine State and historically, Florida is a state that was under the microscope of inclusion as MLB began its painful process of integration. Vero Beach became known as Dodger Town when the Brooklyn franchise began training there in 1948, leading to other teams across the country whose Black players also faced inclusion issues in hotels and restaurants, joining them.
The stories of these men are proof that anything is possible in this country and despite hardships people can rise above their conditions and create empires of legacy and hope for millions of underserved people for the future. Not sure what’s more American than that.
However, if those stories are told in print in the aforementioned counties, then they could be subject to banishment as well. That’s so MLBbro bad.