Favorites of 2021: The Book They Blamed

Someone paid to have copies of Anastasia Higginbotham’s book sent to all 150 members of the Texas house, according to a letter sent by the bill’s author, State Rep. Steve Toth over the summer, while House Bill 3979 was being debated.

Then the book was routinely waved around the statehouse floor — in both chambers — and read from while debating the so-called “anti-CRT” bill.

(Read: All of our favorites of 2021)

But People Newspapers Deputy Editor Rachel Snyder said Higginbotham’s book, Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, actually made an appearance long before that in a Highland Park ISD school board meeting.

“This story provided an additional perspective on a book that we started covering in a Highland Park ISD board meeting and made its way into discussions in the state legislature,” she said of the story, which was one of her favorites of the year.

“As I sat up late at night covering the debates about the bill, I kept circling back to this book, and (as most good stories start) I ultimately decided that I needed to talk to the author, who was probably completely unaware that her book was featuring so prominently in a middle-of-the-night debate in Texas,” said People Newspapers Digital Editor Bethany Erickson, who wrote the piece. “So I emailed her to see if we could chat.”

Read the piece here.

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