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These little libraries around Philadelphia showcase banned books by Black authors

Little Free(dom) Library encourages reading banned books by Black authors
Little Free(dom) Library encourages reading banned books by Black authors 03:49

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This Black History Month, 13 spots around Philadelphia are showcasing frequently banned books written by Black authors. Visit Philadelphia has set up these Little Free(dom) Library locations where you can take a book that may have been banned in another state.

Thursday morning, we visited the Betsy Ross House in Old City, one of the locations where you can find this unique spin on the Little Free Library you might see in your neighborhood.

Visit Philadelphia Chief Marketing Officer Neil Frauenglass said this is the third installment of Visit Philadelphia's In Pursuit of A More Perfect Union series, a fresh take on how Philadelphia commemorates heritage months.

"We certainly want people to know that during Black History Month Black stories are American stories, and everyone is welcome and wanted here in the birthplace of America," Frauenglass said.

Visit Philadelphia says a dozen books are included in the libraries, including "The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story" by Nikole Hannah-Jones, "Beloved" by Toni Morrison and "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

The full list of titles is on VisitPhilly's website and there are 1,500 copies in total.

According to PEN America, more than 30 states have banned books by Black authors – both fiction and non-fiction – or otherwise deemed them inappropriate.

READ MORE from 2022: The most banned books in America

Frauenglass tells us every month will celebrate a different heritage.

The Little Free(dom) Library trail includes the following locations:

  1. Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street
  2. Columbia North YMCA, 1400 N. Broad Street
  3. Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, 2027 Fairmount Avenue
  4. Faheem's Hands of Precision, 2100 S. 20th Street
  5. Frankford Community Development Corporation, 4667 Paul Street
  6. Franklin Square, 200 North 6th Street
  7. Historic Germantown, 5501 Germantown Avenue
  8. Johnson House Historic Site, 6306 Germantown Avenue
  9. Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, 419 S. 6th Street
  10. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  11. The Independence Visitor Center, 599 Market Street 
  12. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad Street
  13. South Street Street Off Center, 407 South Street

You can see a map of these spots on VisitPhilly's site.

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