Book Bans

  • George Yancy and Joe Feagin on How to Fight Back Against Book Bans

    The sociologist, whose books on racism have been banned, argues "U.S. book banning has been widespread and routinely targeted books with diverse ideas and perspectives for centuries now, especially those challenging white conservative sociopolitical ideas, norms and values."

  • Florida's Book Banners Face New Opposition—and Their Lawyers

    While there is a groundswell of opposition to book removal policies and other restrictions on educational content, it remains to be seen whether Democratic politicians will commit to defending the importance of public education in a multicultural democracy. 

  • The Fight for the Soul of a Missouri School Board

    by Sue Halpern

    Even in a conservative community in southwestern Missouri, a grassroots group of parents and students has rallied to oppose right-wing efforts to restrict books available in the local public schools. 

  • Why a Book About Two Bunnies Marrying Was Banned in 1959

    Illustrator and author Garth Williams feigned incredulity that his tale of a white and black rabbit's romance ran afoul of Jim Crow sensibilities, but it's hard to see how else it was likely to be perceived, says Sharon Patricia Holland of the University of North Carolina. 

  • Book Bans Surge as Officials Fear Ambiguities in Florida Law

    “It is a whole new level of fear,” said Kathleen Daniels, the president of the Florida Association for Media in Education, a professional organization for school librarians and media educators. “There are books that are not being selected because they have been challenged.”

  • Fighting Book Bans—and Winning

    by Alyssa Rosenberg

    Although book-banners have the attention of the media and are being used by politicians to create wedge issues, it's important to remember that the policy is unpopular, and can be resisted. 

  • Confusion Over Book Bans in Florida is a Feature, Not a Bug, of New Policies

    The state education commissioner of Florida, Manny Diaz, has insisted that the state is not banning books. Civil liberties and library groups say that vague laws and public threats of prosecution are pushing educators to remove books without technically being forced to do so, which is the point. 

  • Meet Some Librarians Fighting Back

    Librarian Mary Grahame Hunter says libraries are places where children's rights and intellectual autonomy are respected. Some in her Michigan community are working to change that. 

  • What are the Evils and Dangers Targeted by Book Bans?

    A study of the books flagged for restriction in Duval County, Florida in the last two years suggests that a particular political vision is driving the bans, focusing on LGBTQ themes and racial and religious diversity. But a fear of adolescents' developing autonomy also seems to be in play. 

  • At its 150th Anniversary, the Comstock Law is Relevant Again

    by Jonathan Friedman and Amy Werbel

    Anthony Comstock drew on elite connections to give himself near unilateral power to confiscate "obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecent, or immoral" materials —terms he was free to define on his own—and prosecute people for possessing them. Right-wing politicians seem to be inspired by the example. 

  • America Fought Its Own Battle Over Books Before it Fought the Nazis

    by Brianna Labuskes

    The Armed Services Editions paperback books were wildly popular among World War II servicemembers. But they became symbols of American freedom to read in the war against fascism only after a bitter domestic battle about the works and topics that would be permitted. 

  • African American Policy Forum Announces #TruthBeTold Campaign

    The AAPF is launching an interactive project to monitor efforts to ban books, censor classes, and punish teachers, and to offer reader the opportunity to share their valued experiences with antiracist education.