In a powerful move, Pink, the Grammy-winning pop superstar, is using her platform to advocate for free speech and LGBTQ+ rights in the face of challenging times in Florida. Teaming up with the non-profit PEN America, Pink is set to distribute 2,000 banned books on race and s*xuality during her TRUSTFALL Tour stops in the Sunshine State.
Florida has recently been in the spotlight for implementing laws that restrict free speech in education, making it a crucial battleground for advocates like Pink. The Individual Freedom Act passed in July 2022, limits discussions on systemic racism and discrimination in schools and workplaces. Additionally, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, restricting LGBTQ+ topics in schools, further raising concerns about the state of free expression in Florida.
PEN America reports that Florida now ranks first in the nation for the most banned books in public school classrooms and libraries, accounting for over 40% of all banned books nationwide. Pink’s initiative aims to challenge these restrictions and promote the importance of diverse voices and perspectives.
During her upcoming concerts in Miami and Sunrise, the first 1,000 fans at each show will have the opportunity to receive banned books that touch on themes of racial and s*xual identity. The curated collection includes titles like Todd Parr’s “The Family Book,” a Girls Who Code series book, Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” and Amanda Gorman’s poetry book, “The Hill We Climb.”
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In a press release, Pink passionately expressed her commitment to the cause, saying, “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.” The singer, known for hits like “Just Give Me a Reason” and “So What,” emphasized her support for PEN America’s work and declared, “No more banned books.”
Pink, a mother of two young readers, took to Instagram to share the news, hosting a live conversation with author Amanda Gorman and PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel. In her post, she revealed a personal connection to the cause, stating, “As a mom of two young readers, I can’t imagine letting someone else decide what MY CHILDREN can and cannot read!”
This move by Pink is not isolated. In September, over 175 stars, including Ariana Grande and Ava Max, signed an open letter condemning book bans. Pink has consistently used her platform to champion LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and various charitable causes, supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign.
Pink’s dedication to this cause echoes her previous expressions of frustration and optimism in the face of challenges. When Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, she took to social media to convey the collective weariness felt by many, stating, “But we will stick together. Good will prevail over evil.”
As Pink takes the stage in Florida, her mission goes beyond the music – it’s a call to preserve the freedom of expression and ensure that no voice is silenced. Through the distribution of banned books, she stands as an ally, a voice for change, and a beacon of hope for a future where diversity of thought is celebrated, not restricted.