Nikole Hannah-Jones on The 1619 Project

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“A free society does not ban books.” Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones speaks about her personal journey to develop The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story (One World, 2021) as well as the attempts in certain states to ban the book from schools in this interview for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Maia Kobabe on Censoring LGBTQ Stories

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Maia Kobabe, who uses the gender-neutral pronouns e/em/eir, speaks about the efforts to ban eir award-winning debut graphic memoir, Gender Queer (Oni Press, 2019), from school libraries and the importance of writing LGBTQ stories in this interview with Anthony Allen Ramos for GLAAD’s Books Not Bans campaign.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Anti-Racist Books Being Banned

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“For most of American history, African American authors have not had the purchase on the American conscience that they have right now,” says Ta-Nehisi Coates about the rise of banning books with themes about race including his own memoir, Between the World and Me (One World, 2015), as well as Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be Antiracist (One World, 2019) and The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story (One World, 2021) by Nikole Hannah-Jones in this 2021 CBS Mornings interview. “This is really about white children now being exposed to ideas that I think were previously segregated.”

Book Bans Challenge Freedom of Speech

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“They are not just a challenge in an individual school system or library, but legislation being introduced in statehouses that would affect the availability of books all over the state in every school and library.” In this PBS NewsHour video, Jeffrey Brown speaks with PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel about the intensifying efforts across the United States to ban specific books related to LGBTQIA+ issues, race, and freedom of speech.

Jason Reynolds for Banned Books Week

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“What does it mean when we say books unite us? It means that books can be the tethers, that books can connect human beings.” In this video, Jason Reynolds, honorary chair of Banned Books Week 2021, talks about the importance of reading a range of narratives and stories that make up this “tapestry of life” and the danger of censoring that knowledge. “To censor a book is to damage the framework in which we live,” says Reynolds.

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