Taking a Stand Against Book Banning
On January 1, 2012, while everyone else in the world was celebrating the new year with toasts and food and friends and family, the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona was ringing it in by banning a bunch of books.
Happy New Year.
But this was beyond what book banning and censorship usually involves. This wasn’t just saying that a book or books had too much sex in them or too much violence or foul language or witchcraft or any of the other reasons that books usually get challenged and banned. The books banned by the Tucson Unified School District were “works ranging from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.” And along with that, the schools involved were forced to cut their ethnic studies programs.
In other words…the book censorship was focused on ethnicity.
This week, though, at the University of Oregon, a number of students and professors came together to host a public reading of the works banned by the Arizona law in January and to stand in solidarity with the students in Arizona affected by the censorship.
We’re all part of a shared community that needs to listen to these different voices. These are good stories; we just need to hear them.
–Amalia Gladhart, Spanish associate professor
The participants of the public reading each chose a book the list of books banned by the Arizona school district, and then read an excerpt from their chosen book. An independent book store was also on hand with copies of some of the books from the list.
Standing up for books, and the people whose stories they tell, is something that more people should do. If no one speaks out against censorship, it will only get more out of control. So follow the University of Oregon’s example and speak your voice against censorship!