Banned Books Week – NEIU Independent


From September 18 to 24 “Books unite us. Censorship divides us.

Books open your eyes and your mind to the world around you. The words written by an author can transport you to other worlds. The images that form in your head will allow you to have empathy for the situation in which the characters find themselves. Books and their authors share with others a world of ideas, they make you think, feel and sometimes push you to act. Take a minute to think about your favorite book, the books you’ve been assigned to read for class, or even the books you could never imagine being labeled as offensive or obscene pulled from the shelves of your local library simply because a person or a group of people feel they should be. Many such things are happening all over the world. Books are even thrown on bonfires, all in the name of preserving a country’s values. But is this really what is happening? Do we need to be saved from books? Should one person or even a group of people have a say in what you read?

The first banned book dates back to the mid-1600s for being interpreted as going against mainstream religious beliefs. In America, it was in the 1980s that the issue of banned or contested books became a hot topic. The America Literary Associate had an exhibit that was front and center at their national meeting held in California. The exhibition featured a massive collection of banned or contested books around the world and these books were locked behind heavy chains. It was very soon after this convention that the idea of ​​fighting the banning of books became a concern for many libraries, bookstores and even schools. Displays were set up to showcase books that had been banned or challenged, opening people’s eyes to the blatant disregard some have for the freedom of expression and the privilege they seem to have to choose. arbitrarily the books they carry. I don’t want other people to read.

More than at any time in years, an election year, general election, or midterm “banned books” and the debate about these books and whether they indoctrinate the mind people, including children, becomes a priority topic. Comments like this are the basis of many heated conversations about banned books. At a recent political press conference, it was said, “I’m not trying to ban books. I’m trying to stop a campaign of indoctrination against children. Anyone in this county who has children knows very well what I am talking about. Under the guise of protecting children, banning books is considered a right and can be easily justified.

The use of books as political discussion or as the right of one individual over another to censor what is read is a most outrageous form of censorship. Throughout history, many of the greatest books ever written have been banned. The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom works tirelessly to ensure that a list of banned books is compiled and distributed as a resource for libraries, schools, and even bookstores to promote those books that have been banned or disputed. Here is the one from last year

list of top 10 banned/disputed books:

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
Reasons: banned, challenged and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, as it was considered to contain sexually explicit images

lawn boy by Jonathan Evison
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered sexually explicit

Not all boys are blue by George M. Johnson
Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and profanity and because it was considered sexually explicit

out of darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
Reasons: Banned, challenged and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered sexually explicit


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