Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Read Banned Books

Nothing gets me fired up like talking about censorship. Stifling freedom of speech in this manner is despicable. It thwarts creativity and  prohibits critical thinking. Instead of allowing people--especially young adults--to make their own decisions about what they want to be and who they are becoming, restricting access to books and media decreases cultural understanding and whitewashes history.
"Our teens need us to be honest with them about the harsh realities of life. Knowledge protects them. Truth gives them power."
I am 100% apposed to forced censorship, but that doesn't mean people of any age should be reading anything. It is a parent's job (and to a lesser extent, a teacher's job) to help children select age appropriate books that challenge their reading level and get them thinking beyond themselves. And if a reader is uncomfortable with the content of a book they're reading (e.g. sex, language, violence), it's okay to put it down. But to comprehensively dismiss a book for an entire community of readers because you don't agree with its message is inexcusable.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
There are several ways you can speak out against book banning:
  1. Join the #speakloudly trend on twitter.
  2. Select a frequently challenged book to read.
  3. Add a widget or change your profile picture to your favorite banned book.
  4. Talk to your kid/parent/teacher/friend about your feelings on banning books.
  5. Challenge yourself to speak out about something you believe in.
For more information about Banned Book Week (September 25-October 2) and to find out what more you can do to speak out against censorship, visit the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom banned book website.

This year I'll be reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and ttyl by Lauren Myracle. What will you be reading next week?

No comments:

Post a Comment