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Omega Psi Phi Combats Florida Book Bans By Creating Mini-Libraries Full of Black History Books In Tampa

In a bid to combat the rising trend of book bans and curriculum alterations that threaten to whitewash history especially in Florida, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. has initiated a significant book drive during their Grand Conclave in Tampa this week. The fraternity aims to distribute books focused on African American history and culture, setting up small libraries in several urban communities in Tampa as part of its Grand Conclave.

“Throughout history, one of the most damaging tactics in the attempt to alter the historical record is banning or destroying books,” Omega Psi Phi stated in a recent press release. The fraternity expressed concern over the aggressive efforts to alter curriculums and ban books in Florida and other parts of the country. These actions, they argue, are blatant attempts to rewrite history.

Omega Psi Phi has a long-standing commitment to preserving and promoting African American history. A century ago, under the guidance of Brother Carter G. Woodson, the fraternity launched Negro History and Literature Week in 1924. This initiative evolved into Negro Achievement Week in 1925 and eventually expanded into Black History Month in 1976, celebrated nationally every February.

To address the current challenges to historical truth, Omega Psi Phi has set up libraries in Tampa’s urban communities. These libraries will be used to distribute books during various events at the fraternity’s Grand Conclave, such as the Community Forum, Youth Symposium, Silent March, and STEM activities. The goal is to ensure widespread access to literature that highlights African American contributions and experiences.

In a strategic move to enhance the reach of this initiative, Omega Psi Phi has partnered with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the organization founded by Carter G. Woodson. This partnership aims to ensure the effective distribution of resources beyond the conclave and to maintain deliberate communications about the impact of Black history, including the role of Omega Psi Phi in it.

Additionally, the fraternity has teamed up with Black English Bookstore, a Tampa-based bookstore recently recognized as one of twelve stores in the inaugural cohort of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation’s “BincTank” incubator pilot program. This program supports BIPOC-owned retail bookselling businesses, furthering the mission to promote diverse literary voices.

This book drive is a key part of Omega Psi Phi’s Grand Conclave in Tampa, reflecting the fraternity’s dedication to both preserving history and fostering community engagement. By distributing books focused on African American history and culture, the fraternity aims to counteract efforts to erase significant parts of the historical record.