Tag: banned books week

Celebrating Banned Books Week at Scuppernong Books

Banned Books Week is an annual event that celebrates open access to books in our schools, libraries, and communities. This year, PEN America will be celebrating the week in North Carolina with a full day of activities.

The morning will start at 11am ET with a drag queen sidewalk storytime in partnership with Stonewall Sports – Greensboro. This event will be an hour long, and ideal for curious children and families. Following a lunch break, PEN America will be hosting a sidewalk banned book reading and Pop Up Performance in the afternoon, starting at 2pm ET.

REGISTER HERE

EVENT SCHEDULE

Drag Queen Sidewalk Storytime

11:00am – 12:00pm ET
In partnership with Stonewall Sports – Greensboro
Outdoors | Family and Children’s Event

Banned Out Loud: Sidewalk Banned Book Reading & Pop Up Performance

2:00pm – 4:00pm ET
Outdoors

Erasure of Black Thought: A Conversation about Critical Race Theory with Black Academics and Writers

“Erasure of Black Thought” will be a conversation among Black academics that unpacks the current challenges to freedom of expression in schools, colleges, and the public sphere in regards to racism, history, and diversity (i.e. critical race theory). The event will offer a clear-eyed view of the current slate of censorious threats, while also providing concrete action items to push back against them.

REGISTER HERE

PANELISTS

Dr. Blair LM Kelley headshotDr. Blair LM Kelley is assistant dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and International Programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and associate professor of History at North Carolina State University. Kelley is currently at work on a new book, Black Folk: The Promise of the Black Working Class, for Liveright/W. W. Norton and Company, which was awarded a 2020 Creative Nonfiction Grant by the Whiting Foundation. Her first book, Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship, won the Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize for best book from the Association of Black Women Historians. Active inside the academy and out, Kelley has produced and hosted her own podcast and has been a guest on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, MSNBC’s All In and Melissa Harris-Perry show, NPR’s Here & Now, and WUNC’s The State of Things. She has written for The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe RootTheGrioEbonySalon, and Jet magazine. Highlighted as one of the top-tweeting historians by History News Network, Kelley was among the first generation of historians active on Twitter. She has been tweeting as @profblmkelley for more than 12 years, and she has over 43,000 followers. Kelley received her BA from the University of Virginia in history and African and African American studies. She earned her MA and Ph.D. in history, and graduate certificates in African and African American studies and women’s studies at Duke University.

Jennifer Christine Nash headshotJennifer Christine Nash is the Jean Fox O’Barr Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University. She earned her Ph.D. in African American studies at Harvard University and her J.D. at Harvard Law School. She is the author of three books: The Black Body in Ecstasy: Reading RaceReading Pornography (awarded the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award by the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association), Black Feminism Reimagined (awarded the Gloria Anzaldúa Book Prize by the National Women’s Studies Association), and Birthing Black Mothers. She is also the editor of Gender: Love (Macmillan Reference USA, 2016). Her research has been supported by the ACLS/Burkhardt Residential Fellowships, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s Career Enhancement Fellowship Program.

MODERATOR

Danielle Purifoy headshotDanielle Purifoy is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Purifoy completed a Ph.D. in environmental politics and African American studies at Duke University. Purifoy earned a BA in English and political science from Vassar College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Purifoy’s current research traces the roots of contemporary environmental conditions in the U.S. South, specifically in Black towns dating back to the postbellum era. Purifoy has also written about the legal dimensions of environmental justice and equity in food systems. Purifoy is the former Race & Place editor at Scalawag, a magazine devoted to Southern politics and culture, and the current board chair of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network.

Censorship, Citizenship, & Individual Responsibility

Censorship, Citizenship, & Individual Responsibility explores how the prohibition of expression is the breeding ground for dystopian societies and how, in a constant feedback loop, societal censorship leads to internal censorship, dehumanizing both society and the individual.

Presented by Steve Kronen.

Join the stream here.

History, Racism, and Education in Oklahoma (Virtual)

Youth advocate and Oklahoma Board of Education member Carlisha Williams Bradley and University of Oklahoma history professor Anne Hyde join PEN America for a discussion of currents threats to honest teaching of history and racism in Oklahoma schools and universities, in the context of social and political backlash against anti-racism education, and in the wake of the passage of HB 1775 in May. This event is a chance to support the writers, readers, scholars, and free expression supporters in Oklahoma and the rest of the country who are being targeted by wrongheaded legislation.

REGISTER HERE

This event is co-sponsored by the American Historical Association and Magic City Books.

SPECIAL GUESTS

Carlisha Williams Bradley headshotCarlisha Williams Bradley is a passionate educator and youth advocate who serves as the executive director of ImpactTulsa. Most recently, Bradley served as the executive director of Tulsa Legacy Charter School (TLCS). Under her leadership, TLCS became the first charter school in the state of Oklahoma to join the prestigious portfolios of Charter School Growth Fund and NewSchools Venture Fund. Bradley was also a 2017 School Systems Leader Fellow who supported Tulsa Public Schools as a senior consultant to the superintendent’s cabinet for strategy and talent development. Prior to these roles, Bradley served on the National Leadership team of Lighthouse Academies, which served over 7,000 students and 825 teachers, principals, and staff members nationwide. In this role, she managed the highest performing school in the network and Oklahoma school expansion. Bradley was a former middle school teacher and administrator who worked abroad in nonprofit development before entering the classroom. Prior to teaching, Bradley founded Women Empowering Nations, an organization devoted to the self-esteem and leadership development of girls of color in Africa and the United States. Bradley holds an MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, a BBA in entrepreneurship and venture management, and a BA in African and African-American studies from The University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Anne Hyde headshot

Dr. Anne Hyde is professor of history at the University of Oklahoma (OU). An expert on the American West and Indigenous histories, she is editor-in-chief of The Western Historical Quarterly. She serves as the faculty coordinator for OU’s required U.S. history survey course, enrolling 3,600 students each year. She has also served as faculty director of the American Historical Association’s “Tuning the History Discipline in the United States” project. Her latest book is Born of Lakes and Plains: Mixed Descent Families and the Making of the American West (W. W. Norton & Company, 2022).

MODERATOR

James Tager headshotJames Tager is the research director at PEN America. Tager previously worked with the Asia & the Pacific Programme at the International Commission of Jurists, first as a Satter Human Rights Fellow and subsequently as an international associate legal advisor. Before that, he was a 2013-2014 Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellow, researching civil society responses to the developing human rights framework within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). He has lived and worked in Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Tager holds a BA from Duke University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

American Dystopia: Stop Reading

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them” (Ray Bradbury). This lecture debriefs students on literary censorship in American public schools and libraries, which often feels dystopian and obstructs the democratic right to read. The lecture would explain how/why books are banned surrounding the top banned books for 2020. Thematically, the audience will recognize a trend in books which involve racial minorities, gender, LGBTQ, and politics, and that banned books are unwarranted — borderline dystopian, if you will. Finally we will consider: what happens when you don’t “stop reading.”

The lecture will be followed by a 10-15 minute Q&A.

Streaming at: https://oduonline.zoom.us/j/98525071609

#BannedBooksChat on Twitter with Laurie Halse Anderson

Join Laurie Halse Anderson, the author of the frequently challenged titles Speak and Shout, for a #BannedBooksChat on Twitter! Speak, a National Book Award finalist, appeared on ALA’s Top Ten Most Challenged Books list for 2020. The sequel, Shout, was one of more than a dozen titles removed from book club reading lists this summer in Leander, Texas. We’ll discuss the censorship of Anderson’s work, the impact of censorship on young people, and the ways books unite us during this Twitter chat.

Join us on Twitter for this live event! During the Twitter chat, Anderson 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! #BannedBooksChat [7:04 p.m. EDT]

Q1: Your groundbreaking novel SPEAK was the 4th most challenged book in 2020, and it sits in the 25th spot on the 100 most challenged books of 2010-2019 (https://bit.ly/2ZAA1Yz). Why do you think it is such a frequent target of censors? #BannedBooksChat [7:10 p.m. EDT]

Q2: In what ways does the censorship of SPEAK, its sequel SHOUT, and other books that address sexual violence harm young people? #BannedBooksChat [7:18 p.m. EDT]

Q3: What would you say to someone who is trying to censor SPEAK or other books that address similar topics? How can we change their minds? #BannedBooksChat [7:26 p.m. EDT]

Q4: You’ve defended intellectual freedom and offer anti-censorship resources on your website at https://bit.ly/3zGWlfj. Why are intellectual freedom and the right to read important? #BannedBooksChat [7:34 p.m. EDT]

Q5: What advice do you have for people who are trying to stop censorship in their communities? #BannedBooksChat [7:42 p.m. EDT]

Q6: The theme of this year’s #BannedBooksWeek is “Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us.” What are some examples of books that bring us together? #BooksUniteUs #BannedBooksChat [7:50 p.m. EDT]

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing spans young readers, teens, and adults. Combined, her books have sold more than 8 million copies. Her new book, SHOUT, a memoir-in-verse about surviving sexual assault at the age of thirteen and a manifesta for the #MeToo era, has received widespread critical acclaim and was Laurie’s eighth New York Times bestselling book.

Two of her novels, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was short-listed for the prestigious Carnegie medal in the United Kingdom. Laurie has been nominated for Sweden’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award three times. Laurie was selected by the American Library Association for the Margaret A. Edwards Award and has been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English.

In addition to combating censorship, Laurie regularly speaks about the need for diversity in publishing and is a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys cheesesteaks while she writes. Find out more about Laurie by following her on Twitter at @halseanderson, Instagram at halseanderson, and Facebook at lauriehalseanderson, or by visiting her website, madwomanintheforest.com.

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.

Example:

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.

Conversation with Bryan Burrough and Jim Schutze

Writer and journalist Bryan Burrough (author of Forget the Alamo) and author and activist Jim Schutze (author of The Accommodation) come together for this special event that will assess the negative impacts of censoring political and historical literature. The conversation will highlight their own recently censored works, and speak to the importance of learning and teaching history from a holistic perspective, including aspects of the past that make some uncomfortable.

REGISTER HERE

PANELISTS

Bryan Burrough headshotBryan Burrough is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair and the author of six books, including the No. 1 New York Times bestseller Barbarians at the Gate and his latest, Days of Rage. He is also a three-time winner of the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for excellence in financial journalism. Born in 1961, Burrough was raised in Temple, TX, and graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri in 1983. From 1983 to 1992, he was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where he reported from Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, and during the late 1980s, covered the busy mergers and acquisitions beat in New York. In 1990, Burrough and John Helyar co-authored Barbarians at the Gate, the story of the fight for control of RJR Nabisco. The book, which spent 39 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, has been hailed as one of the most influential business narratives of all time. Burrough joined Vanity Fair in 1992, where he has reported from locales as diverse as Hollywood, Nepal, Moscow, Tokyo, and Jerusalem.

Jim Schutze headshotJim Schutze is a recipient of the National Association of Black Journalists’ award for commentary, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary twice, and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues three times. In 2011, Schutze was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters in recognition of his career as a journalist and author. Schutze was a columnist for the Dallas Observer from 1998 to 2020 and was Dallas bureau chief of the Houston Chronicle from 1996 to 1998. From 1978 to 1991, Schutze was the metropolitan page columnist for the Dallas Times Herald. In the early 1990s, he wrote six nonfiction books, including The Accommodation: The Politics of Race in an American City and Bully: A True Story Of High School Revenge, which was the basis for a controversial film directed by Larry Clark. Two of his books were finalists for the national Edgar Allan Poe Award for crime writing.

MODERATOR

Sanderia Faye headshotSanderia Faye serves on the faculty at Southern Methodist University; was an instructor at the 2017 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Conference at Arizona State University; and is a professional speaker and activist. Her novel, Mourner’s Bench, is the winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in debut fiction and the Philosophical Society of Texas Award of Merit for fiction. She is cofounder and a fellow at Kimbilio Center for Fiction, and her work has appeared in the anthology Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas. Faye moderated the grassroots panel for the Arkansas Civil Rights Symposium during the Freedom Riders’ 50th Anniversary and is coordinating the first AWP African Diaspora Caucus. Her work received “Best Of” honors at the 2011 Eckerd College Writers’ Conference (co-directed by Dennis Lehane and Sterling Watson), where her winning excerpt from the novel was published in SABAL Literary Journal. She received grants and scholarship offers from the Hurston/Wright Foundation’s Writers Week, the Eckerd College Writers in Paradise Conference, Callaloo Writers Workshop, and Vermont Studio Center. She attended The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow and Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency. She holds an MFA from Arizona State University, an MA from The University of Texas at Dallas, and a BS in accounting from the University of Arkansas. She is currently a Ph.D. student in English at the University of North Texas.

Banned Books Week Trivia Night

Join us for a night of literary fun with Banned Books Week Trivia.

This program is hosted by the Melbourne Public Library reference staff and is recommended for teens and adults.

Seating is limited. Call 321-952-4514 to reserve your spot!

Ideas & Action: Banned Books Week Event

The Bluest Eye. To Kill A Mockingbird. The Hate U Give. Stamped. George. What do these books have in common?

**This is a virtual event that will be hosted on Zoom – you will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing and sufficient Internet access. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom.**

The Bluest Eye. To Kill A Mockingbird. The Hate U Give. Stamped. George. What do these books have in common? Yes, they’re classics—and future classics. But they’re also some of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020.

Join One World on Wednesday, September 29 at 8:00 PM ET on Zoom for a special Ideas & Action virtual event where we investigate—and celebrate—Banned Books Week, the freedom of ideas, and the necessity and power of even the most discomforting truths.

Hosted by Chris Jackson, publisher and editor-in-chief, and co-sponsored by the American Library Association, Ideas & Action: Banned Books will feature authors who have faced censorship directly, including Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me), Nikole Hannah-Jones (The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story), Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist), and Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy)—as well as authors who have joined the fight against censorship, including Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings), Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us), and more—in a mix of live and recorded video appearances that reflect on the question, “What do you wish you had learned in school, but didn’t?”

Attendees will also hear from Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, about legal challenges to important books and why certain books tend to stir up conversation about free speech and censorship—when we should really be discussing their groundbreaking ideas. Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change (and author of the forthcoming From Presence to Power) will share additional remarks.

One World is proud to partner on this event with the American Library Association and BookPeople, an independent bookstore based in Austin, TX. When you register for your free ticket, you will also have the option to purchase books by any of the featured authors. If you purchase at least one book, you will also receive a sampler featuring excerpts of a select number of the other books. Additionally, on the registration page, you will have the option to donate any amount you wish to the Legal Defense FundYou do not have to donate to attend the event.

Register HERE.

Books will ship after the event. Please be sensitive to the workload of our independent bookstore partner: It may take a couple weeks to receive your book, but your support of this bookstore is so important and will not go unnoticed. The pandemic has not been kind to small and local businesses. Every book purchase helps.

The American Library Association actively advocates and educates in defense of intellectual freedom—the right of library users and all persons to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Its Office for Intellectual Freedom promotes and defends intellectual freedom through its services, programs, publications, and online resources that support library workers fighting censorship and educate library workers and the public about the nature and importance of the freedom to read. Each year ALA observes Banned Books Week, when ALA and libraries across the country celebrate the freedom to read while calling attention to attempts to censor books and other materials, especially those books that share the stories of people who are gay, trans, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, immigrants, and refugees.

By registering for the event you agree to be automatically signed up for the One World and Random House Events email newsletters and partners associated with the event. (Privacy Policy) and Terms of Use.

 Ideas & Action: Banned Books Week Event image

 Ideas & Action: Banned Books Week Event image

Banned Book Fest

Join us on the library lawn for an educational celebration of banned and challenged books. There will be games and activities relating to banned books with fun prizes and more. Listen to banned children’s books, create your own blackout poem, and learn about how the library bill of rights stands in opposition to censorship of books and other materials. All ages event. No rain date. Event will be cancelled if weather is poor.

Conversation with Chris Tomlinson and Ashley Hope Pérez

Writer and editor Chris Tomlinson (coeditor of Forget the Alamo) and young adult author Ashley Hope Pérez (author of Out of Darkness) come together for this special conversation to discuss recent threats to free expression in Texas. The discussion will unpack controversies including the recently canceled Forget the Alamo book event at the Bullock Texas State History Museum as well as the recent and expansive book ban in Texas’s Leander Independent School District, which includes Pérez’s Out of Darkness.

REGISTER HERE

PANELISTS

Chris Tomlinson headshotChris Tomlinson is the author of two New York Times bestsellers and a columnist for the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News. His latest book, Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth, was co-written with Bryan Burrough and Jason Stanford and deconstructs the Texas origin myth to reveal the truth behind the state’s legends. His previous bestseller, Tomlinson Hill: The Remarkable Story of Two Families who Share the Tomlinson Name-One White, One Black, examines the history of race in America from the family’s 1850s Texas slave plantation to the present day. Tomlinson writes commentary about energy, business, and policy three times a week, drawing on his 25 years of reporting experience.

Previously, Tomlinson was the supervisory correspondent for The Associated Press in Austin, responsible for Texas government and politics reporting. From 2001 to 2009, he was a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press and served as the East Africa bureau chief in Nairobi, Kenya. Tomlinson has reported from more than 30 countries, including Rwanda, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Congo. Before becoming a journalist, he spent seven years in the U.S. Army. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1992 with special honors in humanities. Tomlinson currently serves on the board of advisers of the Texas Book Festival and two contemporary art organizations in Austin, Co-Lab Projects and The Museum of Human Achievement.

Ashley Hope Pérez headshotAshley Hope Pérez is the author of the young adult novels Out of Darkness (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), The Knife and the Butterfly (Carolrhoda Lab, 2012) and What Can’t Wait (Carolrhoda Lab, 2011). Her debut novel, What Can’t Wait, won a spot on the 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adult list, and The Knife and the Butterfly was included in the 2015 YALSA Popular Paperbacks list. Pérez grew up in Texas and taught high school in Houston before pursuing a Ph.D. in comparative literature. She is now a visiting assistant professor of comparative studies at The Ohio State University and spends most of her time reading, writing, and teaching on topics from global youth narratives to Latin American and Latina/o fiction. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Arnulfo, and their son, Liam Miguel.

MODERATOR

Jonathan Friedman headshotJonathan Friedman is the director of free expression and education at PEN America, where he oversees advocacy, analysis, and outreach to educational communities and academic institutions. In this role, he drives forward PEN America’s efforts to catalyze a more informed, civic culture through free expression education for the rising generation and the general public. Friedman served as lead author on PEN America’s 2019 report, Chasm in the Classroom: Campus Free Speech in a Divided America, and on the production of its digital Campus Free Speech Guide. He regularly provides commentary on campus free speech issues for national news media, has facilitated workshops, and has conducted advisory meetings with students, faculty, and administrators at dozens of colleges and universities across the United States.

Freedom to Read: Celebrating Banned Books Week

This event is online only. Did you know that books are banned and challenged in libraries, schools and bookstores every year? Celebrate your freedom to read by celebrating Banned Books Week! This annual event highlights the value of free and open access to information. This program will dive into the reasons why Banned Books Week is celebrated and why the most popular books were challenged or banned. This event will take place over Google Meet.

You must register with your email address in order to receive the link to participate. The link will be sent to you by email approximately one day before the program. You will need a device with audio and video and an internet connection to join.

Register HERE.

Check out a Banned Book Kick-off

“Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” Let us break the “censorship” cycle, students; come by the library to check out a banned book and receive an Eat Me Guilt Free snack bag while supplies last.

Hosted by “Wolfson Campus”

Library – Room 1216

300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33132

Where in the World Are Books Banned? Interactive Map

Come by the Library to try out our interactive map that can be accessed by computer or scanning a QR Code on your mobile device, which leads you to a world map where you can find Banned Books throughout the world. In addition, the resource guide “Banned Books: Defending Our Freedom to Read” by Robert P. Doyle (2017), which was used in making this map, will be available for you to browse and find additional banned and challenged books.

Hosted by “Wolfson Campus” both virtually and in-person

Library – Room 1216

300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33132

Where in The World Are Books Banned? Interactive Map

Censorship by the Numbers Display

View infographics on Who, What, Where, and Why books are challenged. According to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, “More than 273 titles were challenged or banned in 2020, with increasing demands to remove books that address racism and racial justice or those that shared the stories of Black, Indigenous, or people of color. As with previous years, LGBTQ+ content also dominated the list.”

Hosted by “Wolfson Campus”

Library – Room 1216

300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33132

Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Free Expression in Alabama (Virtual)

This roundtable conversation will focus on the historical challenges to gender expression, sexuality, and free speech in Alabama, including how these challenges play out through the experiences of LGBTQ+ writers from the state. This panel will explore the unspoken, speak the unspeakable, and open doors into the present.

REGISTER HERE

This discussion is being presented in partnership with the ACLU of Alabama.

Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children’s book, and the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down. Recipient of a 2018 Whiting Award for fiction, he was named one of the 32 Black Male Writers for Our Time by T: The New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Purnell is also the frontman for the band The Younger Lovers; the cofounder of the experimental dance group the Brontez Purnell Dance Company; the creator of the renowned cult zine Fag School; and the director of several short films, music videos, and most recently, the documentary Unstoppable Feat: Dances of Ed Mock. He recently released his current novel 100 Boyfriends (MCD x FSG). He won Lambda Literary’s James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize in 2021. Born in Triana, AL, he’s lived in Oakland, CA for 19 years.

Minnie Bruce Pratt headshotBorn in Selma and raised in Centreville, AL, Minnie Bruce Pratt came out as a lesbian in Fayetteville, NC in 1975. She received her BA from The University of Alabama the year after segregationist Gov. George Wallace “stood in the schoolhouse door,” and her Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1979. Her books and poems have received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the American Library Association, the Poetry Society of America, Lambda Literary, and The Publishing Triangle. Her second book, Crime Against Nature, about losing custody of her children as a lesbian mother, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

An anti-racist, anti-imperialist women’s liberation activist, Pratt co-authored Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism (1984) with Barbara Smith and Elly Bulkin. Her essay from that volume, “Identity: Skin Blood Heart,” has been adopted in hundreds of college classrooms as a teaching model for diversity issues. Along with lesbian writers Chrystos and Audre Lorde, she received the Lillian Hellman/Dashiell Hammett Award given by the Fund for Free Expression to writers “who have been victimized by political persecution.” She is a managing editor of the Workers World/Mundo Obrero newspaper, and lives in her hometown in Alabama and in Central New York. Her most recent book is Magnified (Wesleyan University Press, March 2021), dedicated to her partner and spouse, Leslie Feinberg, trans activist and theoretician.

Joi Miner headshotJoi Miner, 39, is a mother of two beautiful daughters from Montgomery, AL (currently residing in Birmingham, AL). She is a full-time author-preneur: editor, performance poet, storyteller, and sexual assault and domestic violence activist, who loves spending time with her family, hosting shows, and listening to good music. Miner loves writing engaging stories and plot twists that keep her readers at the edge of their seats.

Emrys Donaldson headshotEmrys Donaldson’s work has recently appeared in Electric LiteratureTriQuarterly, Passages NorthRedivider, and The Rupture, among other venues. Donaldson holds a BA summa cum laude from Cornell University and an MFA from The University of Alabama. Donaldson is an assistant professor of English at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL.

Banned Books Trivia Night (Virtual)

Calling all fans of controversial reads! Come join us for an hour of online trivia as we celebrate Freedom to Read Week! Test your knowledge of banned and challenged books.

You can have as many participants on your team as you like, but only one person will share responses per team. Only 10 “teams” may register.

This program will be provided by Mint Hill library staff and is recommended for teens and adults.

How to Join an Online Program
This event takes place on Zoom. Please register for the event by 4 PM on September 24th. You’ll receive an email with a link to the secure Zoom meeting 24 hours before the meeting.

Register here.

Celebrating Banned Books Week

In the book shop we will have a Banned Book Display and a game of “Guess the Banned Book.” There will be a jar on the counter with shredded pages from a banned book. Patrons can enter the drawing by trying to guess the name of the banned book. A winner will be drawn on Saturday, October 2. Also in the store on October 2, we will have readings throughout the day from banned books.

Online we will highlight staff members and their favorite banned books as well as post a daily trivia question about banned books.

A Conversation With Gene Luen Yang: Censorship in Leander, Texas

Bestselling comics creator and former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Dragon Hoops, Shang-Chi) is joined by educator Alexis Huddleston and parent Stephani Bercu for a conversation about the censorship of young people’s literature in Leander, Texas, and beyond! Early this year, the school district in Leander undertook a review of its book club reading lists after a parent complained about one of the titles during a school board meeting. The review led to the removal of more than a dozen acclaimed and award-winning novels and graphic novels, most of them by people of color or featuring diverse characters. Huddleston and Bercu will speak about their experience defending the reading lists, while Yang — who has two titles, Dragon Hoops and American Born Chinese, on the list — will offer a creator’s perspective on censorship. Moderated by Nora Pelizzari (National Coalition Against Censorship) and Betsy Gomez (Banned Books Week Coalition).

Join us on Facebook for this conversation! https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek/

Gene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. As the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he advocates for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second Books, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints won the L.A. Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award Finalist. His other works include Secret Coders (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man and Superman from DC Comics (with various artists), Superman Smashes the Klan from DC Comics (with Gurihiru), the Avatar: The Last Airbender series from Dark Horse Comics (with Gurihiru), and Dragon Hoops. He is currently writing Shang-Chi for Marvel Comics.

In 2016, Yang was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and the Library of Congress, Every Child A Reader, and the Children’s Book Council appointed him the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. For more, visit www.geneyang.com

Don’t Miss These Banned Books Week Coalition Events!

The Banned Books Week Coalition is delighted to host some amazing creators during Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2, including a warm-up even with comics superstar Gene Luen Yang, Facebook Live events with the creators of the banned children’s books Something Happened in Our Town and One of a Kind Like Me and Banned Books Week Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds, and Twitter chats with Laurie Halse Anderson and Alex Gino! Get the details here!

A Conversation With Gene Luen Yang: Censorship in Leander, Texas

Thursday, September 23, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. CDT / 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. CDT
Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek

Bestselling comics creator and former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Dragon Hoops, Shang-Chi) is joined by educator Alexis Huddleston and parent Stephani Bercu for a conversation about the censorship of young people’s literature in Leander, Texas, and beyond! Early this year, the school district in Leander undertook a review of its book club reading lists after a parent complained about one of the titles during a school board meeting. The review led to the removal of more than a dozen acclaimed and award-winning novels and graphic novels, most of them by people of color or featuring diverse characters. Huddleston and Bercu will speak about their experience defending the reading lists, while Yang — who has two titles, Dragon Hoops and American Born Chinese, on the list — will offer a creator’s perspective on censorship. Moderated by Nora Pelizzari (National Coalition Against Censorship) and Betsy Gomez (Banned Books Week Coalition).

Gene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. As the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he advocates for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second Books, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints won the L.A. Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award Finalist. His other works include Secret Coders (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man and Superman from DC Comics (with various artists), Superman Smashes the Klan from DC Comics (with Gurihiru), the Avatar: The Last Airbender series from Dark Horse Comics (with Gurihiru), and Dragon Hoops. He is currently writing Shang-Chi for Marvel Comics.

In 2016, Yang was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and the Library of Congress, Every Child A Reader, and the Children’s Book Council appointed him the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. For more, visit www.geneyang.com

Censorship of Children’s Books: A Conversation with the Creators of Something Happened in Our Town and One of a Kind, Like Me

Monday, September 27, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30– 2:30 p.m. CDT / 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PDT
Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition in a conversation about the censorship of children’s books with Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, the authors of Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice, and Laurin Mayeno and Robert Liu-Trujillo, the author and artist of One of a Kind, Like Me. Something Happened in Our Town, which examines the impact of a police shooting from the perspectives of a Black family and a White family, was one of the top ten most challenged books of 2020. One of a Kind, Like Me, which tells the story of boy who wants dress as a princess in his school costume parade, was banned in a North Carolina school district in early 2021. We’ll discuss the circumstances behind the censorship challenges to the books, how the attacks on diverse literature harm students, and what we can do to defend children’s books. Moderated by Betsy Gomez (Banned Books Week Coalition).

Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children’s questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.

Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues.

Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP, worked together for more than two decades as Emory University School of Medicine faculty members serving children and families in Atlanta. All three psychologists have been involved in community advocacy efforts focused on children’s behavioral health and social justice.

Dr. Celano and Dr. Hazzard have developed and utilized therapeutic stories in individual and group therapy with children and teens. All three authors valued story-time with their children, who taught them important lessons about what children need from adults.

Something Happened in Our Town is their first picture book for children.

One of A Kind, Like Me / Único como yo is a sweet story about unconditional love and the beauty of individuality. It’s a unique book that lifts up children who don’t fit gender stereotypes, and reflects the power of a loving and supportive community.

Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. Mommy supports him 100%, and they race to the thrift store to find his costume. It’s almost closing time – will Danny find the costume of his dreams in time?

About the Author: For more than 17 years, Laurin Mayeno has provided consulting services to numerous organizations, resulting in greater diversity, more inclusive and equitable work environments, and improved effectiveness working with diverse populations. Laurin’s experiences as a mixed race woman growing up during the social movements of the 1960s, led her to work that fosters inclusion, equity and full appreciation for cultural diversity. Her experience as the mother of a nonbinary queer child also gave her a deep appreciation for importance of responding to gender diversity, which is now a central focus of her work. Her Proud Mom videos and her bilingual children’s book One of a Kind, Like Me/Único como yo are among the resources she has developed to spark dialogue and understanding. 

About the Illustrator (from his website): Robert Liu-Trujillo is a life long Bay Area resident. Born in Oakland California, he’s the child of student activists who watched lots of science fiction and took him to many demonstrations. Always drawing, Rob grew up to be an artist falling in love with graffiti, fine art, illustration, murals, and children’s books. In that order, sort of. Through storytelling he’s been able to scratch the surface of so many untold stories. Rob is the author and illustrator of Furqan’s First Flat Top. He’s a dad of a teenage boy and a brand new baby girl. He loves ice cream and his wife who laughs big and corrects his grammar every chance she gets. Down with the system and soggy french fries!

Rob is a co-founder of The Trust Your Struggle Collective, a contributor to The Social Justice Children’s Book Holiday Fair, The Bull Horn BlogRad DadMuphoric Sounds, and the founder of Come Bien Books.

Ask Jason Reynolds Anything* (*About Banned Books)

Tuesday, September 28, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00– 1:00 p.m. CDT / 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT
Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek

Join Banned Books Week Honorary Chair and New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds for a conversation about censorship, young people’s literature, and the ways that books bring us together! Moderated by Emmy Award–winning writer, arts organizer, and librarian Scott Woods, this conversation will feature questions submitted by teens around the country. This livestream is free and open to all, and a great opportunity to engage your students and patrons during Banned Books Week!

Reynolds is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books for young people, including All American Boys (with Brendan Kiely), Ghost, Long Way Down, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, and Stamped (with Ibram X. Kendi). A multiple National Book Award finalist, Reynolds has also received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, an NAACP Image Award, and several Coretta Scott King Award honors. Reynolds recently received the Carnegie Medal for his middle grades novel Look Both Ways. He is currently serving a two-year term as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for the Library of Congress.

As an advocate for storytelling and an outspoken critic of censorship, Reynolds is the perfect person to headline Banned Books Week 2021, which takes place September 26 – October 2 and has the theme, “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”

#BannedBooksChat on Twitter with Laurie Halse Anderson

Wednesday, September 29, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. CDT / 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. PDT
Twitter

Join Laurie Halse Anderson, the author of the frequently challenged titles Speak and Shout, for a #BannedBooksChat on Twitter! Speak, a National Book Award finalist, appeared on ALA’s Top Ten Most Challenged Books list for 2020. The sequel, Shout, was one of more than a dozen titles removed from book club reading lists this summer in Leander, Texas. We’ll discuss the censorship of Anderson’s work, the impact of censorship on young people, and the ways books unite us during this Twitter chat.

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing spans young readers, teens, and adults. Combined, her books have sold more than 8 million copies. Her new book, SHOUT, a memoir-in-verse about surviving sexual assault at the age of thirteen and a manifesta for the #MeToo era, has received widespread critical acclaim and was Laurie’s eighth New York Times bestselling book.

Two of her novels, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was short-listed for the prestigious Carnegie medal in the United Kingdom. Laurie has been nominated for Sweden’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award three times. Laurie was selected by the American Library Association for the Margaret A. Edwards Award and has been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English.

In addition to combating censorship, Laurie regularly speaks about the need for diversity in publishing and is a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys cheesesteaks while she writes. Find out more about Laurie by following her on Twitter at @halseanderson, Instagram at halseanderson, and Facebook at lauriehalseanderson, or by visiting her website, madwomanintheforest.com.

#BannedBooksChat on Twitter with Alex Gino

Thursday, September 30, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. CDT / 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. PDT
Twitter

Join Alex Gino, the author of George (Melissa’s Story), for a #BannedBooksChat on Twitter! Since its publication in late 2015, George (Melissa’s Story) has been an annual fixture on ALA’s Top Ten Most Challenged books list. It topped the most recent top ten, with challenges, bans, and restrictions for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community.” In this Twitter chat, we’ll discuss the importance LGBTQ+ content, why it is frequently targeted by censors, and more!

From the author’s website:

Alex Gino loves glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the complexity of being alive. They would take a quiet coffee date with a friend over a loud and crowded party any day. A former LSAT tutor who never touched law school, Alex can still talk your ear off about sufficient and necessary conditions.

Alex has been writing stories since before they knew the alphabet, dictating stories to their parents. They have always considered themself a writer, but it wasn’t until 2014, with the sale of MELISSA’S STORY (GEORGE) that they had any idea that authoring books would be how they make their way in the world. They are grateful for the ability to spend their time and energy on something so close to their heart.

Alex has been an activist and advocate for LGBTQIAP+ communities since 1997, when they became co-chair of what was then called the LGBA at the University of Pennsylvania. (It was renamed the QSA the year after they left.) They are proud to have served on the board of NOLOSE, a fat-positive, queer, feminist organization dedicated to supporting radical fat acceptance and culture. Alex would like to thank the Black women and other amazing BIPOC folk of NOLOSE who raised their consciousness about race and how racism permeates our culture. They are currently a member of We Need Diverse Books and PEN America.

You can keep up with Alex’s adventures mostly on Twitter (@lxgino), and occasionally on Facebook (Alex Gino, Author).

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.

Example:

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.

Teens and Teen Reading Groups: Don’t Miss the Ask Jason Reynolds Anything* (*About Banned Books) Contest!

Jason Reynolds (photo by James J. Reddington)

Do you have a burning question (about censorship) for New York Times bestselling author and Banned Books Week Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds?! If you’re a teen or an educator, a librarian, or a bookseller who works with teens, now’s your chance! The Banned Books Week Coalition wants to include you in our Facebook Live event with Jason Reynolds at 1:00 p.m. EDT on September 28!

Send us your questions using this form, and they could be included in our conversation with Jason Reynolds! We’re accepting text and video submissions, and those that we include in the event will receive a copy of Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks or a Banned Books Week poster, signed by the author himself! Submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 17, 2021.

See who’s included when we join Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds on Facebook Live, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EDT on September 28, 2021!

You can celebrate the ways in which books unite us throughout Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2, 2021! The Banned Books Week Coalition is here to support your celebration of reading, with programming ideas, promotional materials, and other resources! Visit bannedbooksweek.org or follow @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter to get the latest Banned Books Week and censorship news.

How To Submit

Contestants can submit questions in text or video format using this form. Video submissions should be limited to 30 seconds or less (shorter is better). The contest is free to enter. 

Contestants must be either living in the U.S. or its territories (but need not be citizens) and must be 13 – 20 years of age on September 28, 2021. Educators, librarians, and booksellers who work with teens ages 13 – 20 are also encouraged to submit videos with their classes and/or book clubs.

Submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 17, 2021.

Prizes

l: Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks (published by Simon & Schuster)
r: Banned Books Week 2021 Poster (copyright American Library Association)

Individuals whose questions are selected for inclusion in the Facebook Live event will receive a copy of Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, signed by Jason Reynolds!

Submissions from a class or book club chosen to be included in the event will be awarded with a Banned Books Week poster, signed by Jason Reynolds. 

Up to a total of ten (10) prizes will be awarded.

Questions? Send us a note at coordinator@bannedbooksweek.org

Contest Rules

  1. All questions (text and video) should be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, September 17.
  1. Videos should be submitted via YouTube link. Video submissions cannot exceed 30 seconds in length. Shorter submissions are encouraged. 
  1. Questions should address the theme of Banned Books Week (“Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”), intellectual freedom, censorship, and/or works by Jason Reynolds. Be creative!
  1. Individual contestants must be age 13 – 20 on the day of the Facebook Live event (September 28, 2021). 
  1. Questions may be submitted by classes or book clubs and their adult supervisors as long as the teens involved are age 13 – 20 on the day of the Facebook Live event (September 28, 2021).
  1. Contestants must live in the United States or its territories. U.S. citizenship is not required for entry.
  1. Questions selected for inclusion will be shown during the Facebook Live event on September 28 (for video submissions) and the contestant’s first name, city, and state will be shared during the event (for both text and video submissions). For class or book club submissions, the contestants’ school, library, or bookstore, as well as city and state, will be identified. 
  1. Prizes: A combined maximum of ten (10) novels signed by Jason Reynolds (for individual contestants) OR Banned Books Week posters signed by Jason Reynolds (for classes and book clubs). Contestants selected for inclusion in the contest will be contacted via email after the event and will have until the end of Banned Books Week (October 2, 2021) to claim their prize. Prizes will be delivered within eight (8) weeks of the conclusion of Banned Books Week (October 2, 2021).

This contest is sponsored and maintained by the Banned Books Week Coalition. It is not directly overseen by Jason Reynolds or Simon & Schuster and its subsidiaries.

“Everything Counts” — Jason Reynolds Drops Some Knowledge During the #BannedBooksChat

We recently had the pleasure of joining Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds for a #BannedBooksChat on Twitter. Ever the advocate for reading, especially among young people, Reynolds proved why he’s such a powerful voice in publishing today. Some highlights from the #BannedBooksChat:

Q1: #BannedBooksWeek is all about celebrating the freedom to read, but a lot of young people need extra motivation to read. What are some ways we can encourage a love of reading as we work to defend the right to do so? #BannedBooksChat

Q2: In the past few years, nearly every book on the @OIF #BannedBooksList was aimed at young adult audiences. What drives these attempts to ban young people’s literature, and how do we counter it? #BannedBooksChat

Q3: This year’s @OIF #BannedBooksList (bit.ly/2xB4MfQ) includes titles that address racism, share BIPOC stories, and center on LGBTQ+ characters. What advice do you have for defending these stories from censorship? #BannedBooksChat

Q4: Several states have passed or are considering laws that limit teaching related to race and gender in schools (https://ncac.org/news/divisive-concepts-statement-2021). How does singling out and censoring these ideas harm students? #BannedBooksChat

Q5: The theme of this year’s #BannedBooksWeek (Sept 26 – Oct 2) is “Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us.” What are some examples of books that bring us together? #BannedBooksChat

Q6: How do you plan to celebrate #BannedBooksWeek and the freedom to read in your community? #BannedBooksChat

Many thanks to Reynolds and everyone who joined the chat. Read the full #BannedBooksChat archive below, and don’t forget to mark your calendars for our live event with Banned Books Week Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds, taking place at 1:00 p.m. EDT on September 28!

Jason Reynolds Named Inaugural Honorary Chair of Banned Books Week

Photograph of Jason Reynolds
Jason Reynolds (Credit: James J. Reddington)

The Banned Books Week Coalition is proud to announce that Jason Reynolds has been named the inaugural Honorary Chair for Banned Books Week 2021. The New York Times bestselling author will headline the annual celebration of the right to read, which takes place September 26 – October 2, 2021.

Reynolds is the author of more than a dozen books for young people, including All American Boys (with Brendan Kiely), Ghost, Long Way Down, Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, and Stamped (with Ibram X. Kendi). A multiple National Book Award finalist, Reynolds has also received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, an NAACP Image Award, and several Coretta Scott King Award honors. He is currently serving a two-year term as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for the Library of Congress.

As an advocate for storytelling and an outspoken critic of censorship, Reynolds is the perfect person to headline Banned Books Week 2021, which has the theme, “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” For young people in particular, books offer both shared and differently lived experiences that help them develop empathy and understand themselves and their world. In turn, censorship isolates us from each other by narrowing our view of the world.

“I’m excited about being the inaugural Honorary Chair for Banned Books Week,” says Reynolds. “More importantly, I’m excited about this year’s theme, which is so simple, yet so powerful. What does it mean when we say, ‘Books unite us?’ It means that books are the tethers that connect us culturally. Stories ground us in our humanity; they convince us that we’re not actually that different and that the things that are actually different about us should be celebrated because they are what make up this tapestry of life.”

Since it was founded in 1982, Banned Books Week has highlighted the value of free and open access to information by drawing attention to the attempts to remove books and other materials from libraries, schools, and bookstores. Despite their accolades, Reynolds’s novels aren’t immune from censorship. All American Boys and Stamped, both of which address racism and police brutality, have been challenged repeatedly and are among the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020, an annual list released during National Library Week in early April. ALA’s Top 10 list included other books on racial justice, highlighting a growing trend toward attempts to censor stories by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. Further, several state legislatures are considering laws that would limit instruction related to antiracism and social justice, negatively impacting the availability of material by Reynolds and other authors addressing these issues.

“To censor a book is to damage the framework in which we live,” adds Reynolds. “Any time we eliminate or wall off certain narratives, we are not getting a whole picture of the world in which we live. And navigating the world in a way that is closed-off, closed-minded, is poisonous. It means that we limit our vocabulary, which complicates how we communicate with one another. We have to celebrate stories and ensure that all books have a space on the shelves and the opportunity to live in the psyches of our children, as they grow into the human beings who will inherit this wonderful place.”

Join Honorary Chair Jason Reynolds to celebrate the ways in which books unite us during Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2, 2021! The Banned Books Week Coalition is here to support your celebration of reading, with programming ideas, promotional materials, and other resources! Visit bannedbooksweek.org or follow @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter to get the latest Banned Books Week and censorship news.

Learn more about the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020 at ala.org/bbooks/top and the issues facing America’s libraries at ala.org/news/state-americas-libraries-report-2021

ABOUT JASON REYNOLDS

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. He’s also the 2020–2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His many books include Stamped, When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Look Both Ways, and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at JasonWritesBooks.com

ABOUT THE BANNED BOOKS WEEK COALITION

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship.

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of University Presses; Authors Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People for the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

Website: https://bannedbooksweek.org/

Twitter: @BannedBooksWeek

Instagram: @banned_books_week

Banned Books Week 2021: Books Unite Us

The Banned Books Week Coalition is delighted to announce our theme for the 2021 celebration of the right to read: “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” The annual event will take place September 26 – October 2, 2021.

With a central image showing two hands sharing a book, the 2021 theme is intended to be inclusive and emphasizes the ways in which books and information bring people together, help individuals see themselves in the stories of others, and aid the development of empathy and understanding for people from other backgrounds.

The Coalition announces the Banned Books Week theme in conjunction with National Library Week and the release of the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books list. This year’s list includes titles that address racism and racial justice, as well as those that shared the stories of Black, Indigenous, or people of color. As with previous years, LGBTQ+ content also dominated the list:

  1. George by Alex Gino. Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community.”
  2. Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. Banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people.
  3. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism and because it was thought to promote antipolice views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now.”
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint, it was claimed to be biased against male students, and it included rape and profanity.
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of the author.
  6. Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin. Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote antipolice views.
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience.
  8. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes and their negative effect on students.
  9. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse.
  10. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Challenged for profanity, and because it was thought to promote an antipolice message.

Please visit bannedbooksweek.org and follow our social media for updates on Coalition events and resources. You’ll also find print and digital assets, publications, and more to help you plan and promote your event, and we will be adding even more resources in the coming months!

If you need posters, bookmarks, buttons, or other physical materials for your Banned Books Week celebration, visit the ALA webstore!

Finally, the Coalition maintains a free public events page for happenings around the world. Anyone hosting an event or putting up a display is encouraged to visit https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/ to have it included on the list.

Join us for the celebration of the ways in which books unite us during Banned Books Week, September 26 – October 2, 2021!

ABOUT THE BANNED BOOKS WEEK COALITION

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship. 

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of University Presses; Authors Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People For the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

Wrap Up Banned Books Week Virtually!

It may be the last day of Banned Books Week, but it’s not too late to take part in the fun! You can write your favorite banned author (here’s a good place to start if you’re having a hard time deciding who you want to write to), thank your favorite free speech defender, Stand for the Banned in the virtual read-out, or use our customizable downloads to share your favorite banned books and trivia!

Celebrate on Social Media All Week Long!

Customizable Downloads

Make your own Banned Books Week assets for social media! We have several different formats of our main banner that you can add your own information to, or you can share your favorite banned books and trivia with our customizable digital shelftalkers! Check out the entire set or downloadables hereMore…

#BannedBooksWeek in Action

Each day of Banned Books Week, OIF will promote a different action that spotlights literary activism. Titled #BannedBooksWeek in Action, readers are encouraged to share their activities on social media with the hashtag, focusing on the following daily topics:

  • Sunday: Read a banned book 
  • Monday: Speak out about censorship 
  • Tuesday: Create something unrestricted 
  • Wednesday: Express the freedom to read in style 
  • Thursday: Write about your rights 
  • Friday: Watch, listen, and learn from others 
  • Saturday: Thank those who defend the freedom to read every day of the year

Dear Banned Author

The annual Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to write, tweet or email their favorite banned/challenged author during Banned Books Week. Postcards, author addresses and Twitter handles, and tips for hosting virtual programs can be found at ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author. Examples of letters and programs are published on the Intellectual Freedom Blog. Those who use #DearBannedAuthor on Twitter will be entered into a grand prize drawing of Banned Books Week merchandise. Details and Official Rules are listed on the Dear Banned Author webpage. 

Stand for the Banned Read-Out

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs of banned and challenged books. The Stand for the Banned Read-Out invites readers to submit brief videos of themselves reading from a banned book or discussing censorship. Submitted videos may be added to the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

BBW Events Spotlight: October 1

Happy Banned Books Week day 5! The celebration of the right to read might be heading toward it’s end, but censorship never stops! Learn about censorship in the comics industry with Image Comics and ALA, enjoy a performance of City Lit Theater’s Books on the Chopping Block, and more in today’s happening. And don’t forget you can still join the celebration on social media! Read on for details.

(Un)Welcome to the Comics Industry

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

It’s not just libraries that have banned comics – sometimes it’s the comics industry itself. Chloe Ramos (Image Comics) and other panelists in conversation with Dan Wood (Escondido Public Library) will discuss how harassment serves as a form of censorship within the industry by creating unsafe and unwelcoming environments, and how awareness of these issues … Read More

City Lit Theater Company Presents: Books on the Chopping Block (Mount Prospect Library)

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

Celebrate your freedom to read by joining us for a virtual presentation of dramatic readings by City Lit Theater Company featuring the American Library Association’s list of top 10 most challenged books of 2019. City Lit has performed this annual event since 2006 and is excited to showcase these books and to engage with you … Read More

Censura em Brasília durante a Ditadura Militar – Censorship in Brasília during the Military Dictatorship

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm -03
Virtual Event

Lecture about censorship of books and the press in Brasília during the Military Dictatorship (1964 -1985). Content result of postdoctoral research.

Celebrate on Social Media All Week Long!

Customizable Downloads

Make your own Banned Books Week assets for social media! We have several different formats of our main banner that you can add your own information to, or you can share your favorite banned books and trivia with our customizable digital shelftalkers! Check out the entire set or downloadables hereMore…

#BannedBooksWeek in Action

Each day of Banned Books Week, OIF will promote a different action that spotlights literary activism. Titled #BannedBooksWeek in Action, readers are encouraged to share their activities on social media with the hashtag, focusing on the following daily topics:

  • Sunday: Read a banned book 
  • Monday: Speak out about censorship 
  • Tuesday: Create something unrestricted 
  • Wednesday: Express the freedom to read in style 
  • Thursday: Write about your rights 
  • Friday: Watch, listen, and learn from others 
  • Saturday: Thank those who defend the freedom to read every day of the year

Dear Banned Author

The annual Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to write, tweet or email their favorite banned/challenged author during Banned Books Week. Postcards, author addresses and Twitter handles, and tips for hosting virtual programs can be found at ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author. Examples of letters and programs are published on the Intellectual Freedom Blog. Those who use #DearBannedAuthor on Twitter will be entered into a grand prize drawing of Banned Books Week merchandise. Details and Official Rules are listed on the Dear Banned Author webpage. 

Stand for the Banned Read-Out

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs of banned and challenged books. The Stand for the Banned Read-Out invites readers to submit brief videos of themselves reading from a banned book or discussing censorship. Submitted videos may be added to the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

Calling In, Calling Out and What Difference Does it Make?: Whose Speech is Free?

This event is part of “Free Expression and the Humanities,” a series jointly sponsored by PEN America and the Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures at the University of Virginia.

Participants:
Marlene L. Daut, Professor & Associate Director, Carter G. Woodson Institute, UVA
Meredith D. Clark, Assistant Professor, Media Studies, UVA
Tamika Carey, Associate Professor, English, UVA
Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Anna Julia Cooper Prof. of Women’s Studies; Director of the Women’s Research and Resource Center, Spelman College

Register here

BBW Events Spotlight: September 30

We’ve hit the midway point of Banned Books Week, and we’re hitting a high point today with our Alex Gino (George) Facebook Live event! Today is packed, with an ALA / Image Comics panel on the Black people in comics, City Lit Theater’s Books on the Chopping Block, events with BBW Coalition members Index on Censorship and PEN America, and so much more! Read on for details…

Alex Gino, Live with Banned Books Week and ALA OIF!

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom at 1:00 p.m. CDT, September 30, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with acclaimed and award-winning author Alex Gino! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the Banned Books Week Facebook page … Read More

Black People in Comics

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

Valentine De Landro (Bitch Planet, X-Factor), Johnnie Christmas (Tartatus, Sheltered) and Chuck Brown (Bitter Root) in a conversation on how Black people have been historically portrayed in comics, from the obstacles of integrating Black characters into mainstream and superhero comics to present day works, issues Black creators face working in the comics industry, and the … Read More

City Lit Theater Company Presents: Books on the Chopping Block (DePaul University)

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books … Read More

Resisting Self-Censorship

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST
Virtual Event

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the resultant global Black Lives Matter protests, it has been clearer than ever before that the voices of some are prioritised to the exclusion of others. As part of Banned Books Week 2020 – an annual celebration of the freedom to read – Index is partnering with … Read More

Calling In, Calling Out and What Difference Does it Make?: Whose Speech is Free?

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT
Virtual Event

This event is part of “Free Expression and the Humanities,” a series jointly sponsored by PEN America and the Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures at the University of Virginia. Participants: Marlene L. Daut, Professor & Associate Director, Carter G. Woodson Institute, UVA Meredith D. Clark, Assistant Professor, Media Studies, UVA Tamika Carey, Associate … Read More

Banned Book Club: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

8:00 am – 5:30 pm EDT
244 Frazer Fir Rd., South Windsor, CT

Celebrate Banned Books Week by reading and discussing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time! We’ll also talk about why this is a “banned book.” Meet facilitator Cynde Acanto at The Pond at Barber Hill, 244 Frazer Fir Rd., South Windsor. Bring your mask & chair. Please practice social distancing. This event will … Read More

Hong Kong Against the Odds

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm PDT
Virtual Event

The Los Angeles Review of Books invites you to join us for an urgent conversation about the ongoing protest movement in Hong Kong, its place on the international stage, and where Hong Kong might go from here. Over the last 18 months, protesters have gathered in world-historic numbers to demonstrate against state violence and what they … Read More

Banned Books Trivia

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm MDT
Virtual Event

ACLU Montana, Belgrade Community Library, Bozeman Public Library, Country Bookshelf, Friends of MSU Library, and MSU Library partner to host a virtual Banned Book Trivia event.

Celebrate on Social Media All Week Long!

Customizable Downloads

Make your own Banned Books Week assets for social media! We have several different formats of our main banner that you can add your own information to, or you can share your favorite banned books and trivia with our customizable digital shelftalkers! Check out the entire set or downloadables hereMore…

#BannedBooksWeek in Action

Each day of Banned Books Week, OIF will promote a different action that spotlights literary activism. Titled #BannedBooksWeek in Action, readers are encouraged to share their activities on social media with the hashtag, focusing on the following daily topics:

  • Sunday: Read a banned book 
  • Monday: Speak out about censorship 
  • Tuesday: Create something unrestricted 
  • Wednesday: Express the freedom to read in style 
  • Thursday: Write about your rights 
  • Friday: Watch, listen, and learn from others 
  • Saturday: Thank those who defend the freedom to read every day of the year

Dear Banned Author

The annual Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to write, tweet or email their favorite banned/challenged author during Banned Books Week. Postcards, author addresses and Twitter handles, and tips for hosting virtual programs can be found at ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author. Examples of letters and programs are published on the Intellectual Freedom Blog. Those who use #DearBannedAuthor on Twitter will be entered into a grand prize drawing of Banned Books Week merchandise. Details and Official Rules are listed on the Dear Banned Author webpage. 

Stand for the Banned Read-Out

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs of banned and challenged books. The Stand for the Banned Read-Out invites readers to submit brief videos of themselves reading from a banned book or discussing censorship. Submitted videos may be added to the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

Banned Book Club: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Celebrate Banned Books Week by reading and discussing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time! We’ll also talk about why this is a “banned book.” Meet facilitator Cynde Acanto at The Pond at Barber Hill, 244 Frazer Fir Rd., South Windsor. Bring your mask & chair.

Please practice social distancing. This event will be postponed if it’s raining.

Order your copy with free local delivery: https://www.bookclubct.com/online-store/The-Curious-Incident-of-the-Dog-in-the-Night-Time-p219597903

BBW Events Spotlight: September 29

We’re hitting the third day of Banned Books Week running! Don’t miss Portugal. The Man, live with NCAC and the Banned Books Week Coalition; SAGE Publishing’s conversation about COVID-19 and academic censorship, and so much more! Keep reading for details…

PORTUGAL. THE MAN, Live with Banned Books Week & NCAC!

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and the National Coalition Against Censorship at 6:00 p.m. EDT, September 29, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with Grammy Award-winning musicians and free expression heroes Portugal. The Man! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the NCAC Facebook … Read More

COVID-19 and Academic Censorship

9:00 am – 10:00 am PDT
Virtual Event

What does censorship look like in a fully online world? Our experiences dealing with COVID-19 have increased – and in many ways complicated – interactions with open data, internet control, and e-book access. What have we learned about censorship in academia as a result? In this hour-long webinar, taking place during Banned Books Week, panelists … Read More

Banned through Comics Metadata!?

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

Librarians Allison Bailund (San Diego State University), Hallie Clawson (University of Washington Information School), and Rotem Anna Diamant (Canada Comics Open Library) in conversation with Brittany Netherton (Darien Public Library) on how the metadata of comics can limit and grant access to comics. From proper crediting of creators to the details of a catalog record … Read More

Banned Books Week: Whose Voices Are Still Being Censored?

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm BST
Virtual Event

This event is FREE for all. Please register here. Banned Books Week 2020 (28 September–2 October) takes place four months after George Floyd’s murder led to a global resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and three months after the publication of the Rethinking Diversity in Publishing report, which demonstrated the particular challenges writers of colour … Read More

Celebrate on Social Media All Week Long!

Customizable Downloads

Make your own Banned Books Week assets for social media! We have several different formats of our main banner that you can add your own information to, or you can share your favorite banned books and trivia with our customizable digital shelftalkers! Check out the entire set or downloadables hereMore…

#BannedBooksWeek in Action

Each day of Banned Books Week, OIF will promote a different action that spotlights literary activism. Titled #BannedBooksWeek in Action, readers are encouraged to share their activities on social media with the hashtag, focusing on the following daily topics:

  • Sunday: Read a banned book 
  • Monday: Speak out about censorship 
  • Tuesday: Create something unrestricted 
  • Wednesday: Express the freedom to read in style 
  • Thursday: Write about your rights 
  • Friday: Watch, listen, and learn from others 
  • Saturday: Thank those who defend the freedom to read every day of the year

Dear Banned Author

The annual Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to write, tweet or email their favorite banned/challenged author during Banned Books Week. Postcards, author addresses and Twitter handles, and tips for hosting virtual programs can be found at ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author. Examples of letters and programs are published on the Intellectual Freedom Blog. Those who use #DearBannedAuthor on Twitter will be entered into a grand prize drawing of Banned Books Week merchandise. Details and Official Rules are listed on the Dear Banned Author webpage. 

Stand for the Banned Read-Out

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs of banned and challenged books. The Stand for the Banned Read-Out invites readers to submit brief videos of themselves reading from a banned book or discussing censorship. Submitted videos may be added to the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

PORTUGAL. THE MAN, Live with Banned Books Week & NCAC!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and the National Coalition Against Censorship at 6:00 p.m. EDT, September 29, for an exclusive Facebook Live event with Grammy Award-winning musicians and free expression heroes Portugal. The Man! The event celebrates Banned Books Week, which takes place September 23 – October 3, 2020, and will broadcast live on the NCAC Facebook page

In early 2020, Portugal. The Man joined the protest when the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board, which oversees schools in the band’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, voted to remove five classic novels — I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien — from the 11th grade reading list. Through their charitable non-profit, PTM Foundation, Portugal. The Man helped provide thousands of copies of the banned books to students in the district.

During this hourlong livestream, we’ll talk with Portugal. The Man about why they took action, the role of communities in fighting censorship, and the importance of access to information. We’ll close with a short Q&A. The event will be moderated by Nora Pelizzari (Director of Communications, NCAC) and Betsy Gomez (Coordinator, Banned Books Week Coalition).

How will this work?

  1. Make sure you like the National Coalition Against Censorship on Facebook.
  2. At 6:00 p.m. EDT on September 29, go to Facebook and look at the News Feed.
  3. Click Watch in the Navigation Panel on the left. (Click See More if you don’t see Watch in the list.)
  4. After clicking Watch, click Live in the Navigation Panel on the left.

You can also go directly to facebook.com/live to access Facebook livestreams or the video section of NCAC’s Facebook page to access the event.

About PORTUGAL. THE MAN

Portugal. The Man took 2017 by the horns after a considerably long gap between records. They spent years working on an album called Gloomin + Doomin before later developing what would become known as their latest studio album WOODSTOCK. Fate struck lead singer John Gourley twice. First, John got some parental tough love from his old man. “What’s taking so long to finish the album?” John’s dad asked. “Isn’t that what bands do? Write songs and then put them out?” The whole thing got John thinking about why the band seemed to be stuck on a musical elliptical machine from hell and more importantly, about how to get off of it. Second, John found his dad’s ticket stub from the original 1969 Woodstock music festival, which ultimately knocked something loose in his head. He realized that, in the same tradition of bands from that era, Portugal. The Man needed to speak out about the world crumbling around them.

With these two ideas converging, the band made a seemingly bat-shit-crazy decision: they took all of the work they had done for the three years prior and threw it out. The band went back to the studio — working with John Hill, Danger Mouse and longtime collaborator Casey Bates. In this new-found creative territory, the album that became WOODSTOCK rolled out naturally from there. Fast forward to present day and it was impossible to escape the album’s first single, “Feel It Still,” which dominated the charts and radio airwaves in 2017. The 4X Platinum Certified hit reigned at #1 at nearly all radio formats, including Top 40, as well as Alternative, where the song held the chart’s top spot for a mind-blowing 20 weeks, breaking the record for most weeks at #1. Yes, you read that right. Five guys from Wasilla, Alaska, who have played nearly 1,500 shows in their career, broke Alternative radio records and had a #1 song at Pop radio. Billboard Magazine even went as far as to call the song “the unexpected rock crossover hit of 2017,” while Rolling Stone listed it as “one of the best songs of 2017.” AND THEN…the band kicked off 2018 by winning a GRAMMY Award for “Feel It Still.”

About the PTM Foundation

PTM Foundation is focused on building community resilience, empathy, and awareness through music, stories, art, education and connectivity. They aim to convene and organize partnerships and projects informed by community need, then mobilize Portugal. The Man’s listeners and supporters around that shared vision.

While their advocacy, philanthropy, and community engagement work is primarily centered around universal issues related to human rights, community health, and the environment, this organization puts a specific focus on highlighting the stories of Indigenous Peoples, and they are committed to helping bring these sacred voices — often the most informed, yet silenced among us — to the forefront.

About the National Coalition Against Censorship

The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) promotes freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression and opposes censorship in all its forms. Since 1974, NCAC has engaged in direct advocacy, education, research and analysis to support the principles of the First Amendment. A coalition of over 50 national non-profits, NCAC’s alliance includes literary, artistic, education, and civil liberties groups. NCAC is national in scope, but often local in their approach, engaging with a nationwide network of advocates and supporting local activism. NCAC works with community members to resolve censorship controversies without the need for litigation.

About the Banned Books Week Coalition

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship. 

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of University Presses; Authors Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People For the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

Join Creator Gene Luen Yang, Live with Banned Books Week and NCTE!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and the National Council of Teachers of English at 5:00 p.m. CDT on September 28 for a special Banned Books Week Facebook Live event with author Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, Dragon Hoops)!

During this hourlong event, Yang will converse with NCTE member leaders Henry “Cody” Miller and Jung Kim, as well as moderators Lisa Fink (NCTE) and Karen Evans (Education Coordinator, CBLDF) about the censorship of his work, examine the importance of diverse literature, and discuss the use of comics in classrooms. You’ll have a chance to ask your questions during a short Q&A. (We will try to get to as many of your questions as we can!)

How will this work?

  1. Make sure you like NCTE on Facebook.
  2. At 5:00 p.m. CDT on September 28, go to Facebook and look at the News Feed.
  3. Click Watch in the Navigation Panel on the left. (Click See More if you don’t see Watch in the list.)
  4. After clicking Watch, click Live in the Navigation Panel on the left.

You can also go directly to facebook.com/live to access Facebook livestreams or the video section of NCTE’s Facebook page to access the event.

About Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. As the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he advocated for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second Books, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints won the L.A. Times Book Prize and was also a National Book Award Finalist. His other works include Secret Coders (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man (with various artists), Superman Smashes the Klan (with Gurihiru), the Avatar: The Last Airbender series (with Gurihiru), and Dragon Hoops. In 2016, Yang was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

About Henry “Cody” Miller

Henry “Cody” Miller is an assistant professor of English education at SUNY Brockport. He is a former high school English teacher. Cody currently acts as the chair of the National Council of Teachers of English LGBTQ advisory board.

About Jung Kim

Jung Kim, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Literacy, mother, ultrarunner, 1.5 generation Korean American, and #AsAmAF. A former high school English teacher and literacy coach, she writes about Asian American teachers, graphic novels, and equity. Her second co-authored book on teaching with graphic novels, Using Graphic Novels in the English Language Arts Classroom, is out from Bloomsbury Press on October 1.

About NCTE

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) supports teachers and their students in classrooms, on college campuses, and in online learning environments. For more than 100 years, NCTE has worked with its members to offer journals, publications, and resources; to further the voice and expertise of educators as advocates for their students at the local and federal levels; and to share lesson ideas, research, and teaching strategies through its Annual Convention and other professional learning events.

About the Banned Books Week Coalition

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship. 

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of University Presses; Authors Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People For the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

Meet the Banned Books Week Coalition!

Banned Books Week is almost here! If you’re looking for someone to respond to press inquiries; someone to take part in your programming; information about censorship in schools, libraries, bookstores, and more; or ways to report censorship, the members of the Banned Books Week Coalition are ready to help. Keep reading to learn more about our amazing member organizations!

American Booksellers Association: The American Booksellers for Free Expression

  • ABFE 24-hour hotline (First Amendment emergencies): (845) 242-8605
  • Press inquiries: David Grogan

American Library Association: Office for Intellectual Freedom

Association of University Presses

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

  • First Amendment emergency hotline: (888) 88-CBLDF (22533)
  • Press inquiries: info@cbldf.org

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

Freedom to Read Foundation

Index on Censorship

National Coalition Against Censorship

National Council of Teachers of English

People for the American Way Foundation

Banned Books Week Contributors

American Society of Journalists and Authors

Founded in 1948, the American Society of Journalists and Authors is the nation’s professional organization of independent nonfiction writers. Our membership consists of outstanding freelance writers of magazine articles, trade books, and many other forms of nonfiction writing, each of whom has met ASJA’s exacting standards of professional achievement. https://asja.org/

The Authors Guild

The Authors Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for writers. Since its beginnings over a century ago, we have served as the collective voice of American authors. Our members include novelists, historians, journalists, and poets—traditionally and independently published—as well as literary agents and representatives of writers’ estates. The Guild advocates for authors on issues of copyright, fair contracts, free speech, and tax fairness, and has initiated lawsuits in defense of authors’ rights, where necessary. https://www.authorsguild.org/

PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. PEN America, founded in 1922, is the largest of more than 100 centers of PEN International. For more than 90 years, we have been working together with our colleagues in the international PEN community to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. https://pen.org/

Project Censored

Project Censored educates students and the public about the importance of a truly free press for democratic self-government. We expose and oppose news censorship, and we promote independent investigative journalism, media literacy, and critical thinking. An informed public is crucial to democracy in at least two basic ways. First, without access to relevant news and opinion, people cannot fully participate in government. Second, without media literacy, people cannot evaluate for themselves the quality or significance of the news they receive. Censorship undermines democracy. Project Censored’s work—including our annual book, weekly radio broadcasts, campus affiliates program, and additional community events—highlights the important links among a free press, media literacy and democratic self-government. https://www.projectcensored.org/


Banned Books Week is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

City Lit Theater Spotlights Books on the Chopping Block

Chicago’s City Lit Theater is teaming with the American Library Association for Books on the Chopping Block, a series of virtual events featuring dramatic readings from banned and challenged books. Keep reading to check out the trailer for the series!

Three virtual events are scheduled so far:

  • American Library Association Facebook Live Event: Sunday, September 27, at 2:00 p.m. CDT
  • DePaul University: Wednesday, September 30, at 1:00 p.m. CDT
  • Mount Prospect Library: Tuesday, October 1, at 7:00 p.m. CDT (pre-recorded)

There’s still time to take part in the series, so if you are a library and would like to host an online performance, please contact City Lit’s Katy Nielsen at knielsen@citylit.org

City Lit and ALA have partnered on this celebration of Banned Books Week since 2006, with special events, libraries, and bookstores in and around Chicago in previous years. “Our focus is literate theatre, so we are naturally concerned by attempts to keep books away from people,” say City Lit Artistic Director Terry McCabe. “We are privileged to continue our alliance with the ALA in this important work.”

Find out more about Books on the Chopping Block here.

Find Your Freedom to Read During Banned Books Week 2020!

In turbulent times, books are tools that help people navigate the world around them. Intellectual freedom and access to information uplift people in crisis and during more peaceful times, so the Banned Books Week Coalition invites you to champion the right to read during Banned Books Week, September 27 – October 3, 2020! 

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 22, for a special Facebook Live conversation about the 2020 theme and censorship with Laurie Halse Anderson (author of the frequently challenged novel Speak) and an exclusive statement from David Levithan (author of the challenged novel Two Boys Kissing)! https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek/

Since it was founded in 1982, Banned Books Week has helped people recognize and navigate censorship, and the battle for free expression is unending. Reading brings people together, but censorship drives us apart. The theme of this year’s event, “Censorship Is a Dead End,” is a reminder that we need to fight censorship to “Find Our Freedom to Read.” This year’s celebration embraces a maze motif, an attainable and customizable idea that offers publishers, booksellers, librarians, educators, journalists, and others an opportunity to engage with their communities in a variety of ways, from passive programing to big events.

In recognition of National Library Week (April 19 – 25, 2020), the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom released their list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019. This list highlights the ways in which curtailing reading materials makes the world smaller. In 2019, ALA tracked nearly 377 attempts to censor library, school, and university materials and services, encompassing 566 books that were challenged or banned. The list includes books that can help readers, especially young people, understand and navigate tough situations, such as George by Alex Gino; Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin; Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth; I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings, and Shelagh McNicholas; and Drama by Raina Telgemeier. 

“Books can help young people and readers of all ages explore worlds, lives, and experiences beyond their own,” says Nora Pelizzari, director of communications for the National Coalition Against Censorship. “This exploration is crucial in learning to think critically and independently and to navigate ourselves through life. Limiting access to ideas hurts everyone, and particularly students. Banned Books Week gives us a chance to champion the diverse ideas books let us explore.”

Libraries and schools aren’t the only institutions impacted by censorship, and Banned Books Week is an opportunity for many to engage their communities in a conversation about attempts to stifle creativity. 

According to David Grogan, director for American Booksellers for Free Expression, the bookseller’s voice for free expression, “Banned Books Week is one of the most important events of the year for independent booksellers. It provides booksellers a crucial opportunity to promote conversations about controversial books. Customers are often surprised to hear that book banning still continues to this day, and Banned Books Week is a tremendous way to highlight the importance of the freedom to read.”

Find your freedom to read during Banned Books Week, September 27 – October 3, 2020! The Banned Books Week Coalition is here to support your celebration of reading, with programming ideas, promotional materials, and other resources! Visit https://bannedbooksweek.org/ or follow @BannedBooksWeek on Twitter to get the latest Banned Books Week and censorship news. 

Learn more about the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019 at ala.org/bbooks/top and the issues facing America’s libraries at http://www.ala.org/news/state-americas-libraries-report-2020

ABOUT THE BANNED BOOKS WEEK COALITION

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship. 

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of University Presses; Authors Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People For the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

Website: https://bannedbooksweek.org/

Twitter: @BannedBooksWeek 

Find Your Freedom to Read Instagram: @banned_books_week

Celebrate Banned Books Week with Drag Queen Story Hour in San Francisco!

What better way to celebrate Banned Books Week than with Drag Queen Story Hour! The Banned Books Week Coalition presents this special event on September 28 at The Bindery (1727 Haight Street, San Francisco), The Booksmith’s multi-purpose events space.

Join some of San Francisco’s most glamorous drag queens as they read challenged and banned picture books to entertain children of all ages! Doors will open at 2:00 p.m., with the reading to start at 2:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but priority will be given to parents with their children.

Drag Queen Story Hour, which presents readings and workshops to kids of all ages in public libraries, has faced repeated challenges to its programming across the country in the past two years. By partnering with the Banned Books Week Coalition, both organizations aim to highlight the real dangers of allowing stories — and the real lives they represent — to be erased. Telling kids and readers of all ages which stories are valuable and which are not can have lasting and devastating effects. The September 28 event is a celebration of expression, inclusion, and diversity.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries — challenges that still happen today! The 2019 celebration will be held September 22 – 28. The theme of this year’s event proclaims “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark,” urging everyone to “Keep the Light On.”

LGBTQ-inclusive children’s books are among the most challenged and banned titles each year. In the last few years, acclaimed picture books like A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss and EG Keller; This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman and Kristyna Litten; And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell, Justin Richardson, and Henry Cole; and I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings, and Shelagh McNicholas have appeared on the annual Top 10 Most Challenged Books List from American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Join Banned Books Week and Drag Queen Story Hour at The Bindery in San Francisco for a fabulous celebration of reading, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m., September 28! The event also features facepainting for kids and a cash bar serving beer, wine, and cocktails for anyone 21+. RSVP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1093204637543051/

Find Banned Books Week events around the world at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/

Learn more about the most challenged books at ala.org/bbooks/top

ABOUT THE BANNED BOOKS WEEK COALITION

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship.

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers Association; American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of University Presses; Authors Guild; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; Dramatists Legal Defense Fund; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); Freedom to Read Foundation; Index on Censorship; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; PEN America; People For the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

https://bannedbooksweek.org/

https://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek/

Twitter: @BannedBooksWeek

ABOUT DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR

Drag Queen Story Hour/SF (DQSH/SF) contracts with professional drag queens who are experienced youth performers and educators. They capture the imagination and gender play of childhood and give kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models, all while promoting early childhood education and inclusive family programming. In spaces we create, kids are able to see beyond gender restrictions and imagine a world where everybody is safe and welcome and dress up is real. DQSH Queens are ambassadors for equity diversity and inclusion in family programming. Created by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions in San Francisco, DQSH now happens regularly in L.A., New York, and San Francisco, and events are popping up all over the country and the world!

https://www.dragqueenstoryhour.org/

https://www.facebook.com/dragqueenstoryhour/

https://www.instagram.com/dragqueenstoryhour/?hl=en

ABOUT THE BINDERY

The Bindery is a multi-purpose events space and bookstore, a satellite project of independent bookstore and San Francisco legacy business The Booksmith. The events parlor has a beer, wine, and cocktail bar and hosts all manner of events, literary and otherwise, public and private. It’s home to the experimental keystone, The Arcana Project: a deep, highly inclusive array of books — fiction and nonfiction, from all over the world — presented in chronological order by the date they were written.

https://www.booksmith.com/Bindery

https://www.facebook.com/TheBinderySF/

https://www.instagram.com/thebinderysf/

Speaking Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship

Whether focused on race, gender equality, sexual orientation, or mental health, movements are growing at a rapid speed due to digital media, demonstrations, and published works. Yet the growth and prevalence of advocacy can make it easy to forget that these voices rose above their silencers’ attempt at censorship.

Join the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, SAGE Publishing, and Index on Censorship for “Speak Out: Voicing Movements in the Face of Censorship.” In this Banned Books Week webinar, authors will engage in conversation on writing, activism, and speaking out. How have they used their words to speak out about something that has been silenced? What is the difference between being a voice of and for a movement? And what will it take for America to be censorship free in both oral and written word?

Our featured speakers include:

  • Brandy Colbert, award-winning author of various fiction works including Little & Lion, a story that touches on the intersection of race, sexuality, and religion
  • Alex Gino, author of George, an award-winning and heartwarming middle grade book about a transgender girl
  • Marni Brown, acclaimed author of Gendered Lives, Sexual Beings, a textbook lauded for its intersectional framework, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgia Gwinnett College

The webinar will be moderated by Jemimah Steinfield, Deputy Editor of the award-winning Index on Censorship magazine.

Register for the webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6749024865921094915