Statement in Response to Senator Kelly Loeffler’s Storytime at the Fulton County (Ga.) Public Library

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc.
[email protected]

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In July 2013, what would become the Black Lives Matter Global Network (BLM) began to organize. It started out as a chapter-based, member-led organization. The purpose was to build local power and step in when violence was inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.

Since that time, Black Lives Matter has committed to re-imagining and creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.

Kelly Loeffler, Georgia Senator and co-owner of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team, the Atlanta Dream, has openly criticized WNBA members for their open support of Black Lives Matter and its opposition to the killing of Black men, women, and children in America as well as the socio-economic plight of Black Americans through peaceful public protest. She has accused Atlanta Dream members and other WNBA teams of not unifying America and has publicly stated American flags, not Black Lives Matter emblems should be on team members’ uniforms. Loeffler is readily exercising her right to free speech as a senator but would deny that same right to WNBA members, 80% of which are Black and who has received overwhelming support from players regardless of racial identification.

Loeffler is scheduled to participate in Streaming Storytime for the Fulton County (Ga.) Public Library System on July 30, 2020. The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) is concerned that Loeffler’s opposition to the freedom of speech of WNBA members in support of Black lives thriving in America is at odds with the Fulton County Library System’s mission to serve as a “cultural and intellectual center that enriches the community and empowers all residents with essential tools for lifelong learning.” Loeffler’s public criticism of Black citizens and their allies for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, politically charges the Fulton County Library System which serves a large population of Blacks in both Fulton County (44.3%) and the city of Atlanta (51.85%).

The BCALA calls on the Fulton County Public Library System to withdraw its streaming storytime program with Loeffler. The BCALA like Black Lives Matter is opposed to any and all oppression of Black people thriving in America and any attempt to silence the voice of peaceful protest initiated by WNBA members as well as other professional sports organizations in America. The senator’s streaming storytime is one belabored with her own political antics in opposition to the equal rights of Fulton County’s constituents to whom she might be reading. It is socially and politically hypocritical in the present racial climate of America and sets the Fulton County Library System up as having chosen a side politically. In light of Loeffler’s recent comments against Black Lives Matter, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association is sincerely disappointed with the Fulton County Library System’s scheduling of the upcoming storytime with the Georgia senator. Loeffler’s biased depiction of the Black Lives Matter movement was inaccurate, unproven, and misleading. The Fulton County Library System serves a diverse community that must not be subjected to this hateful rhetoric.

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association stands in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, members of the Atlanta Dream, and the entire WNBA.

About the Black Caucus of the American Library Association
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association was founded in 1971 and serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians. Learn more about how to support BCALA at https://www.bcala.org/

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