A note to our supporters:
While it may seem obvious to most of our supporters, we wanted to make a public statement about the recent events taking place in our country over the death of George Floyd. As with most of you, we looked in horror at the video of George Floyd being arrested, with a knee on his neck, saying what came to be his dying words: “I can’t breathe.” As disturbed as we were, our work with the Prison Book Project gives us a unique eye into the racial disparities within our prison system. We know that Black people in this country are treated very differently by law enforcement. Though the Black population of Florida is 16 percent, yet nearly half of the state’s prison population is Black. In many ways, this discrepancy begins with the relationship between police and Black communities.
Part of our mission at Open Books is to provide educational material to people imprisoned throughout Florida. We also have another mission. We hope to educate those who aren’t in prison. For those outside of prison walls, this the perfect time to read books by Black authors. This is the perfect time to read books about the historical struggles for racial justice in America. This is the perfect time to educate yourself about racism in our society and fight for an anti-racist world. This is the time to not only say “Black Lives Matter,” but do the work in our daily lives to make this phrase a reality.
Therefore, we at Open Books and the Open Books Prison Book Project stand in solidarity with those fighting for racial justice.
We always have and we always will.
A NONPROFIT, ALL VOLUNTEER
Bookstore & Community Project