Providence, RI— The school year is ending. Parents who have children in the failing Providence Public School System are turning to the official school sponsored summer reading list to supplement their child’s education during the break. For many, their hope may be to find educational materials that can make up for the time lost during the pandemic, instead they will find a list of books that promotes Critical Race Theory (CRT), graphic descriptions of both giving and receiving sodomy, and abortion of the unborn… all promoted to children fourteen and up.
The list can be found on the Providence Community Library Summer Reading 2021: Tails & Tales, but is labeled 2020 on the pdf Grades 9-12 link on the page. The program is supported by the Rhode Island state Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS), with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
On the list is Stamped–Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. The book contains a series of short chapters written about history, mostly American history, through an all racial lens. The chapters are punctuated with unusual all capitalized words, and in a conversational tone designed to appeal to teens. The authors repeat throughout the book that it is not a history book, but it is fact putting their own spin on well known examples and figures from history using CRT ideas.
Writing in praise of the black power movement, Renylods and Kendi had this to say: “Black Power. And when Black people- especially the disenfranchised but also the antiracist ones- caught wind of this phrase and married it to Malcom X’s autobiography (Black Power basically sums up the book), Black Power became a red fire burning in the Black community and burning down the White one. Well, maybe not burning it down, but definitely heating its butt.”
In 2020, Kendi was broadly condemned for a tweet where he accused Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett of being a white colonizer for adopting two black children out of poverty stricken Haiti.
The Manhattan Institute, a free market think tank who warns parents about indoctrination in schools, highlighted Kendi in a recent webinar on CRT.
In All Boys Aren’t Blue from the summer reading list, in a chapter named “Losing my Virginity Twice,” author George M. Johnson recounts in graphic detail homosexual sex. Johnson is an award winning self-described “non-binary” writer and progressive activist based in New York City. The book is listed in the nonfiction section of the summer reading list, and is available for checkout from the library online.
I remember the condom was blue and flavored like cotton candy. I put some lube on and got him up on his knees, and I began to slide into him from behind. I tried not to force it because I imagined that it would be painful; I didn’t want this moment to be painful. So I ease in, slowly, until I heard him moan…We went at it for about fifteen minutes before I started to get that feeling. Weakness in the legs, numbness in the waist. I finally came and let out a loud moan- to the point where he asked to quiet down for the neighbors. I pulled out of him and kissed him while he masturbated. Then, he also came.
Johnson then also describes in graphic detail his first time receiving homosexual sodomy as well.
He writes that some of his fraternity members were proud of him for completing the act, and to them it was like earning a Boy Scout merit badge.
The book begins with a warning that it will cover adult themes. No such warning appears on the summer reading list. In the author’s note Johnson writes, “These discussions at times may be a bit graphic, but nonetheless they are experiences that many reading this book will encounter or have already encountered.”
Also making the Providence summer reading list is a book called Jane Against the World by feminist writer Karen Blumenthal. On the Ocean State Libraries eZone website, the book is described, “From award-winning author Karen Blumenthal, Jane Against the World takes a deep and passionate look at the riveting history of the fight for reproductive rights in the United States—and how Roe v. Wade was only the beginning.”
The book is named after a series of Janes involved in the pro-abortion movement, including Jane Roe, also known as Norma McCorvey. To her credit and in the interest of balance, Blumenthal does include approximately seven sentences out of her several hundred page book on conversion of McCorvey to pro-life beliefs before her death. Blumenthal also mentions that the Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, was involved in the eugenics movement that championed the abortion of black babies before their birth.
Blumenthal begins part five of her book with a quote from the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, China by the United Nations. China’s One Child Policy caused forced abortions and led to the countless slaughter of girls before and after their birth. Estimates conclude that there are 40 million less female babies in China as a result of the policy.
According to OLIS data, all of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns participate in the statewide summer reading program. In 2018 before the Covid lockdowns, 12,846 children and 2,234 teens participated in their summer reading program.
In 2019, the Ocean State Current analyzed the summer reading list prepared by Providence Community Library & Providence Public Library staff. One of the books that students were encouraged to read is on the American Library Association’s list of “The Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books.” The book, America, by E.R. Frank, details child sexual abuse. The book contains graphic sexual content involving an eight year old and his caretaker.
Of the following two issues related to Rhode Island’s public schools, which one is a greater concern?