Join New York Times bestselling authors Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give, On the Come Up, Concrete Rose) and Jerry Craft (New Kid, Class Act) for a conversation about the censorship of books dealing with racial identity and racism. The authors will discuss the censorship of their work and the implications for readers, authors, and the community. They will be joined by Jeremy C. Young, Senior Manager of Free Expression and Education at PEN America, who will offer perspective on how legislation is impacting and even fueling censorship. The program will be moderated by Amber Payne, Co-Editor in Chief for The Emancipator, a digital commentary platform born from a collaboration between The Boston Globe and Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research.
This event will stream LIVE on the Banned Books Week Facebook page on September 21 at 6:00 p.m. EDT: @BannedBooksWeek
This event made possible with the support of HarperCollins Publishers.
About the Panelists
Angie Thomas was born and raised in Mississippi, but now calls Atlanta her home. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed.
Angie is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, started as a senior project in college. It was later acquired by the Balzer+Bray imprint of HarperCollins Publishers in a 13-publisher auction and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, winning the ALA’s William C. Morris Debut Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (USA), the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize (UK), and the Deutscher Jugendliterapreis (Germany). The Hate U Give was adapted into a critically acclaimed film from Fox 2000, starring Amandla Stenberg and directed by George Tillman, Jr.
Angie’s second novel, On the Come Up, is a #1 New York Times bestseller as well, and a film is in development with Paramount Pictures with Angie acting as a producer. In 2020, Angie released Find Your Voice: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Truth as a tool to help aspiring writers tell their stories. In 2021, Angie returned to the world of Garden Heights with Concrete Rose, a prequel to The Hate U Give focused on seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter that debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
Jerry Craft is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the graphic novels New Kid and Class Act. New Kid is the only book in history to win the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature (2020); the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature (2019); and the Coretta Scott King Author Award for the most outstanding work by an African American writer (2020). Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in the Washington Heights section of New York City.
Jeremy C. Young is the senior manager of free expression and education at PEN America. In this role, he advances PEN America’s advocacy for free expression in educational institutions, advocates against censorious legislation and politically-motivated efforts to ban books and curricular materials, and supports academic freedom in higher education and the freedom to read, learn, and teach in K-12 schools. A former history professor, Young holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from Indiana University and is the author of The Age of Charisma: Leaders, Followers, and Emotions in American Society, 1870-1940 (Cambridge University Press, 2017). He was a 2021 New Leaders Council Fellow and a recipient of the Roger D. Bridges Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
About the Moderator
Amber Payne is co-editor in chief of The Emancipator, a multimedia publication created to reimagine the first abolitionist newspapers in the United States and reframe the national conversation around race and equity. This collaboration between The Boston Globe and Dr. Ibram Kendi’s Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University will amplify critical voices, ideas, data, and debates around hastening racial justice.
Amber was a 2021 Nieman fellow at Harvard University. She formerly served as managing editor of BET.com, overseeing the daily editorial output and leading digital video strategy. Prior to that, Amber was executive producer of Teen Vogue and Them. In 2015 she launched NBCBLK, a section of NBCNews.com dedicated to elevating the conversation around Black identity, social issues, and culture. Amber started her career at NBC Nightly News producing breaking news and feature stories. Raised in Southern Maryland, she is a graduate of the University of Virginia.
Amidst the growing threat of LGBTQ book bans nationwide, The Emancipator and GLAAD are teaming up to present a virtual Banned Books Week event at 7:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Sept. 21, featuring some of the nation’s best known LGBTQ authors and illustrators.
The dialogue will be moderated by Banned Books Week Honorary Chair George M. Johnson, an award-winning nonbinary activist and author of “All Boys Aren’t Blue.” The roundtable also includes Sarah Kate Ellis (president and CEO of GLAAD, “All Moms”), Daniel Haack (“Prince & Knight”), Isabel Galupo (“Maiden & Princess”), Leah Johnson (“You Should See Me In A Crown”), and Harry Woodgate (“Grandad’s Camper”).
Johnson and the panelists will discuss the disturbing rise in LGBTQ book bans and assess whether parents or the political winds are the driving force. The conversation will address the racial undertones of book bans, and the divisive nature of book banning as a point of entry into excluding people and experiences that don’t conform to rigid, homophobic, racist, and xenophobic values. Panelists will also ponder the impact of book bans on LGBTQ literature: Will they intimidate and discourage publishers and writers from producing material in the future?
George M. Johnson (Moderator), “All Boys Aren’t Blue” and “We Are Not Broken”
George M. Johnson (they/them) is an award-winning Black nonbinary activist and author of The New York Times–bestselling young adult memoir “All Boys Aren’t Blue” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020) and “We Are Not Broken” (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2021). “All Boys Aren’t Blue” was named a best book of the year by the New York Public Library and the Chicago Public Library, and it has been optioned for television by Gabrielle Union’s I’ll Have Another Productions. Johnson has written for several major outlets, including Teen Vogue, VICE, Entertainment Tonight, NBC, The Root, Buzzfeed, Essence, and TheGrio.
Sarah Kate Ellis (president & CEO of GLAAD), “All Moms” and “Times Two: Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made”
Sarah Kate Ellis is President and CEO of GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization. She is a frequent spokesperson, advocate and leader for LGBTQ acceptance across all forms of media including print, television, film, social media, advertising and corporate responsibility. Ellis is author of two books with her wife Kristen Ellis-Henderson, the picture book “All Moms,” and “Times Two: Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made,” an autobiography about their simultaneous pregnancies and road to motherhood.
Isabel Galupo, “Maiden & Princess”
Isabel Galupo (she/her) is a queer, part-Filipina, Jewish woman with three moms and a dad (yeah, you read that right). After being an only child for 10 years, Galupo found herself an overnight oldest kid with four younger sisters; this made her really good at changing diapers but also at observing, adapting, and—at times —escaping into genre fiction. It only makes sense, then, that she grew up to be a writer, constantly drawing on her unusual family dynamic and intersecting identities to tell stories at the knife’s edge of painful insight and bizarre heart. Galupo graduated from Ithaca College as a Park Scholar with a B.S. in screenwriting and a minor in sociology, and participated in the Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices in 2015. She lives in Los Angeles, where she has written on over a dozen shows for Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. Animation, Netflix, Amazon, PBS, Apple TV+, and Mattel for preschoolers and kids ages 6-11. “Maiden & Princess” is her first book.
Daniel Haack, “Prince & Knight” and “Tale of the Shadow King”
Daniel Haack (he/him) is the author of Prince & Knight and its sequel, Prince & Knight: Tale of the Shadow King, and the co-author of Maiden & Princess, all from Little Bee Books. The former was named an ALA Rainbow List Top Ten book, a Goodreads Choice Awards nominee and was named one of the best picture books of 2018 by Amazon, Kirkus Reviews and the Chicago Tribune, as well as one of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2019 and one of the Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Decade (2010-2019). More recently, he wrote the two-part How Felix Found His Moxie for Wondery’s Little Stories Everywhere podcast. Daniel is also an Emmy Award-winning creative executive for children’s television and holds a B.S. from Ithaca College and an Ed.M. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Leah Johnson, “You Should See Me In A Crown” and “Rise to the Sun”
Leah Johnson (she/her) is an eternal Midwesterner and author of award-winning books for children and young adults. Her bestselling debut YA novel, “You Should See Me in a Crown,” was a Stonewall Honor Book, the inaugural Reese’s Book Club YA pick, and in 2021, TIME named “You Should See Me in a Crown” one of the 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time. Johnson’s essays and cultural criticism can be found in Teen Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan among others. Her debut middle grade, “Ellie Engle Saves Herself” is forthcoming from Disney-Hyperion in 2023.
Harry Woodgate, “Grandad’s Camper” and “Timid”
Harry Woodgate (pronouns: they/them) is an award-winning author and illustrator who has worked with clients including Google, Little Bee Books, Bloomsbury, Andersen Press, The Sunday Times Magazine, National Book Tokens, Harper Collins, Walker Books, The Washington Post and Penguin Random House.
Their books include “Grandad’s Camper,” “Timid,” “Little Glow,” “Shine Like The Stars,” “My First Baking Book” and “The Very Merry Murder Club.”
In 2022, they won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Best Illustrated Book, as well as receiving a nomination for the CILIP Yoto Kate Greenaway Award and a Stonewall Book Award Honor from the American Library Association. Their books have also been recognized in other awards including the Polari Prize and Diverse Book Awards.
Woodgate is passionate about writing and illustrating diverse, inclusive stories that inspire children to be inquisitive, creative, kind and proud of what makes them unique.
The Emancipator and Busboys and Poets invite you to an in-person conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Rep. Cori Bush to commemorate Banned Books Week. Come out for a lively discussion on the implications of book bans, as well as the growing embrace of censorship of all kinds in political rhetoric on Capitol Hill, and in statehouses and village halls across the country.
WHEN: Thursday, September, 22nd
TIME: 6 p.m. Doors, 7 p.m. Discussion
WHERE: Busboys and Poets – Anacostia
2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, D.C.
TICKETING: Guests must RSVP to attend. Admission is free. Guests will be admitted on a first come, first serve basis at the event. Complete the RSVP signup on this page.
About The Emancipator
The Emancipator is a digital commentary platform dedicated to achieving racial justice in America and beyond. Co-founded by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Bina Venkataraman, The Emancipator features original perspectives from leading scholars, journalists, and community members engaged in exploring solutions to racial inequality and its intersections. A collaboration between The Boston Globe and Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research, The Emancipator reimagines the nation’s first abolitionist newspapers — for a new day.