Ban Ignorance and History Unlearning
Thursday, March 23, 2023 10:15 PM
The banning of library and school books is a blatant attempt to remove the multiplex of racial, ethnic, national, and gender destinctions that formed and continues forming what is the United States of America. Removing any one facet is removing a piece of what is America. And in so doing, denies the American dream to some and debilitates it for all, regardless of status and station. And it is in pursuit of the latter that some at the top of wealth and influence choose to co-opt the Dream for themselves, and turn those at the bottom of the equality strata against each other.
Rather than ban books to recreate America, why don’t we ban ignorance and history unlearning?
The ALA (American Library Association) top 10 list of challenged books below is sourced from media reports and voluntary reports to the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom <https://www.ala.org/>. The non-profit organization notes that the vast majority of book challenges — between 82% and 97% — go unreported and get no Media attention:
1. “Gender Queer: A Memoir” – Published 2019, author Maia Kobabe
2. “ Lawn Boy” – Published 2018, author Jonathan Evison
3. All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto” – Published 2020, author George M. Johnson
4. “Out of Darkness” – Published 2015, author Ashley Hope Pérez
5. “The Hate U Give” – Published 2017, author Angie Thomas
6.” The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Tine Indian” – Published 2010, author Sherman Alexie
7. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: A Novel” – Published 2012, author Jesse Andrews
8. “The Bluest Eye” – Published 1993, author Toni Morrison
9. “This book Is Gay” – Published 2021, author Juno Dawson
10. “ Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out” – Published 2014, author Susan Kuklin
Wed, 03/22/2023 – The ALA) released new data documenting* 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles the 729 challenges reported in 2021.
A record 2,571 unique titles were targeted for censorship, a 38% increase from the 1,858 unique titles targeted for censorship in 2021. Of those titles, the vast majority were written by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color.
Of the reported book challenges, 58% targeted books and materials in school libraries, classroom libraries or school curricula; 41% of book challenges targeted materials in public libraries.