Pink fans attending her shows in Florida this week will benefit from a peaceful act of defiance on the part of the acrobatic pop princess thanks to a partnership with PEN America, an organization focused on defending and promoting freedom of expression. Pink and PEN America are working together to fight back against nationwide book bans by passing out books frequently banned in Florida to concertgoers there.
“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,” Pink said in a PEN America press release.
“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.”
Pink will give away 2,000 copies of four frequently-banned books at her Nov. 14 concert in Miami and her Nov. 15 concert in Sunrise: “The Family Book” by Todd Parr, “The Hill We Climb” by inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, “Beloved” by Toni Morrison and a “Girls Who Code” book from the organization of the same name founded by Reshma Saujani.
Florida has been particularly aggressive on the book-banning front, surpassing Texas in the 2022-2023 school year in the number of books banned in public schools and libraries. PEN America reports that the state accounts for more than 40 percent of all documented bans across the country and lists almost 6,000 banned books since 2021. Overwhelmingly, books on Florida’s ban lists include Black and LGBTQ+ authors and books on the topics of race, racism and LGBTQ+ identities.
“We are thrilled to be working with Pink on this important cause,” Kasey Meehan, director of PEN America’s Freedom to Read Program, said in the release. “Every child deserves access to literature that reflects their lives. Rampant censorship is depriving kids of the chance to see themselves in books and learn about the world and its history.”