Theater video tags: banned books

An Author’s Family Stops a Book Ban


“Freedom of expression is everything.” In this PEN America video, family members of George M. Johnson read and reflect on a letter from the author in response to a call to ban their book, All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020), and other books from a library in New Jersey, just miles from where Johnson grew up.

Book Bans Rising


“Books aren’t dangerous. At least, they’re not dangerous to those of us who want to create an equitable and just society,” says author Ibram X. Kendi in this Washington Post video which takes a look at the history and common themes of banned books in America.

Salman Rushdie on Courage


“Terrorism must not terrorize us. Violence must not deter us. The struggle goes on.” At the 2023 PEN America Literary Gala, Salman Rushdie accepts the PEN Centenary Courage Award and speaks about the urgency to fight book bans and the courage of those who saved him when he was attacked at a public event less than a year ago.


The Fight Over Banning Books


In this CBS Sunday Morning video, correspondent Martha Teichner speaks with the founders of the activist group Moms for Liberty, library officials, a teacher removed from her classroom for giving her students access to banned books, and Art Spiegelman, the author of Maus, about the fight over banning books. This week, the American Library Association released its annual list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books.

All Ways Black Cypher 2023


Filmed at the Milwaukee Public Library, this video featuring local artists Genesis Renji, Klassik, and Marli Amor aims to raise awareness for Penguin Random House’s All Ways Black initiative, which is partnering with Little Free Libraries to build a number of free libraries with a curated selection of Black authors and classic stories. For every share of the video on social media, Penguin Random House has pledged to donate a book to the initiative.

Nikole Hannah-Jones on The 1619 Project


“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


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


“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


“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.


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