Thanks to food deserts — or as some folks call it, “food apartheid” — there are cities across the United States where Black families have to drive several miles to access fresh food at a supermarket. Then there’s the reality that about 2 million Black Americans live in cardiology deserts — counties without cardiologists.  

But the lack of resources that disproportionately impacts Black communities isn’t limited to food or health care. Access to literature is also often limited in Black neighborhoods. 

Nearly half of American children live in a book desert — places that American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten defines as “neighborhoods that lack public libraries and stores that sell books, or in homes where books are an unaffordable or unfamiliar luxury.”

If students don’t have books at home or in their neighborhood, they rely on what’s available in schools — in the classroom and campus library.

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Aziah Siid

Word in Black!

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