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Banned Books Week Sept. 26 - Oct. 2

Banned Books Week Sept. 26 - Oct. 2

Under what circumstances can art, specifically written art, be considered propaganda? Who gets to decide that? Who gets to enforce it?

Every year the American Library Association marks the freedom to read with Banned Books Week. Part of this celebration is their list of the most challenged books for the year. There are some books that seem to make the list nearly every year. These are new this year: 

  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. Reasons: because of author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people
  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Reasons: for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Reasons: because it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity
  • Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard. Reasons: Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views

Hekman Library's collection development policy addresses the library's stance toward censorship:
"Calvin University is committed to the pursuit of Christian scholarship, which explores and engages issues in all areas of intellectual, artistic and cultural endeavor. The Hekman Library supports that goal by providing access to materials that present a broad range of ideas and points of view in all areas of the curriculum."

- Posted September 30, 2021 by Kathy DeMey (8:34 PM)