Join Banned Books Week Honorary Chair George M. Johnson this Wednesday, August 24, at 7:00 p.m. EDT for a #BannedBooksChat on Twitter!
George M. Johnson (they/them) is an award-winning Black nonbinary activist and author of The New York Times–bestselling young adult memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020) and We Are Not Broken (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2021). All Boys Aren’t Blue was named a best book of the year by the New York Public Library and the Chicago Public Library, and it has been optioned for television by Gabrielle Union’s I’ll Have Another Productions. Johnson has written for several major outlets, including Teen Vogue, VICE, Entertainment Tonight, NBC, The Root, Buzzfeed, Essence, and TheGrio.
During the #BannedBooksChat, Johnson and participants will share their thoughts on the following questions:
WARM-UP: Please introduce yourself. Tell us your name and location, and tell us about – or show us! – your favorite #BannedBook! #BannedBooksWeek #BannedBooksChat
Q1: For years now, books by or about LGBTQ+ people have been among the most frequently challenged. In what ways are these materials valuable, and what are the effects of their loss? #BannedBooksChat
Q2: Censorship of LGBTQ+ books and content is on the rise in schools and libraries. Why should people who aren’t part of these two communities care about this censorship? #BannedBooksChat
Q3: What do we say to young people who might be denied access to books? How can we reassure and empower them? #BannedBooksWeek #BannedBooksChat
Q4: What advice do you have for people who are defending LGBTQ+ stories and programming in libraries and schools? What are some resources to which they can turn? #BannedBooksWeek #BannedBooksChat
Q5: The theme of #BannedBooksWeek is “Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us.” What are some examples of books that bring us together? #BooksUniteUs #BannedBooksChat
Q6: How do you plan to participate in #BannedBooksWeek and defend the freedom to read in your community? #BannedBooksChat
Don’t miss this chance to converse with Johnson and other intellectual freedom advocates — or to share your own tips for defending books from censorship — during the #BannedBooksChat on August 24 at 7:00 p.m. EDT!
How Twitter Chats Work
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords in a Tweet, which makes it easy to see the full conversation on a particular topic. For our Twitter chat, we will use the hashtag #BannedBooksChat
At the time of the chat, type #BannedBooksChat into the search box at the top of your Twitter homepage to see the conversation. Listen in, watch the comments from other attendees, and speak up when you are ready!
When discussion questions are posed, they will be labeled with a Q and a number representing the order. If you are responding to a question, use an A and the number of the prompt. To ensure your comment is automatically pulled into the chat feed for others to see, be sure to include #BannedBooksChat in your Tweet.
Q1. What does advocacy look like for students in your classroom/community? What are some ways or tools that students use to amplify their voices? #BannedBooksChat
When you respond, you would tweet:
A1. [your answer] #BannedBooksChat
A huge part of Twitter chats is responding to other participants’ answers and keeping the conversation going. Because you have the questions in advance of the chat, you can have your answers ready to go if you want! Many people use a tool like TweetDeck or Hootsuite to make following Twitter chats easier.
Twitter chats move quickly! If you can’t catch everything as it’s happening, don’t worry! You can search for #BannedBooksChat to find the conversation.