AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Latino-focused “caravan of banned books” rolled into Austin on Friday as part of a three-city day trip.
The demonstration, organized by the group Librotraficante (or “book traffickers” in English) was slated to begin in Houston before traveling to San Antonio and then wrapping up in Austin with a march to the Texas state capitol.
The caravan comes in response to Texas schools pulling books from library shelves deemed inappropriate by Republican lawmakers, some of them authored by Latino authors.
Organizers said they will have donated copies of banned books to pass out at the event.
The group is also calling for the implementation of Mexican American and Ethnic Studies in classrooms.
“Elected officials must make our art, history, and culture more accessible to our community — not less,” said Librotraficante founder Tony Diaz.
Dr. Richard Pineda, a communication professor at the University of Texas at El Paso told KXAN that whether Friday’s demonstrators achieve their goals, the debate, itself, is important.
“The fact that we’re having fights about what should be done, it’s actually a good sign because I think it eventually gets us to a conversation about the pros and cons of how we teach history,” he said.
Both library materials and school curriculum topics are part of the interim charges for state legislators ahead of next January’s legislative session.