Banned Books Week 2019 kicks off today and this year's theme is "Censorship Leaves Us in The Dark. Keep the Light On!"

Freedom of expression has a direct impact on freedom of thought—our intellectual freedom, yours and mine. For without the freedom to read we cannot easily understand the world or develop the ability to discern between the truth and the lie.

There's a dearth of Banned Books Week activities near me this year so I'm turning to various online activities I find immensely interesting and necessary to my understanding of current issues. Some of those from the American Library Association (ALA) are:

"Border forces with Peppermint": This Index on Censorship podcast focuses "on how travel restrictions at borders are limiting the flow of free thought and ideas. Lewis Jennings and Sally Gimson discuss the latest issue of the magazine and reveal what to expect. Guests include trans woman and activist Peppermint, runner-up of RuPaul’s Drag Race season nine, who opens up about a transphobic experience in a Russian airport; San Diego photojournalist Ariana Drehsler talks about her detainment at a Mexican border and how this compares to a similar situation that happened in Egypt; and Steven Borowiec, a regular contributor to the magazine based in South Korea, discusses the laws surrounding the toughest border in the world." Listen to the podcast here.

"Historical Voices" Sep 23, 2019 12:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada): "Andre R. Frattino (SIMON SAYS) and Sanford Green (BITTER ROOT) in conversation with Dr. Katie Monnin (Author of 8 books on teaching graphic novels, Why so serious? Productions Founder) about banned voices throughout history. Topics covered will also include the use of censorship as a mode of suppression, the erasure of dissenting voices from the historical narrative of our nation and others, and the legacy of those erasures as they affect current events. Brought to you by ALA's Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics." Registration for the webinar is here.

"Banned People & Post-Colonial Narratives" September 24, 2019: Sloane Leong (PRISM STALKER) and Henry Barajas (VOZ DE M.A.Y.O. TATA RAMBO) in conversation with Alea Perez (GNCRT President-Elect) about banned people, the legacy of colonialism in literature and popular culture, and the rise of post-colonial voices as a challenge to systems which under-represent/under-acquire authors/artists of color. Registration for the webinar is here.

"Banned Books & Civil Rights" Sep 25, 2019 12:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)
"Ronald Wimberly (BLACK HISTORY IN ITS OWN WORDS) and Nate Powell (MARCH) in conversation with Scott Bonner (IFRT, Ferguson Municipal Public Library Director) about banned and challenged books, the role of censorship in civil rights movements, and how their work in comics has addressed legacies of erasure. Brought to you by ALA's Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics."
Webinar registration is here.

"LGBTQ Challenges" Sep 26, 2019 12:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada): Michelle Perez (THE PERVERT) and Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK) in conversation with Moni Barrette (GNCRT Board, Chula Vista Public Library Principal Librarian) about the disproportionately high incidence of bans and challenges levied against LGBTQ+ books in libraries and schools. This discussion will also touch on the recent increase in challenges and cancellations of Drag Storytimes in libraries across the nation. Brought to you by ALA's Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics." Registration for the webinar is here.


Keep the Light On! Please share Banned Books activities in your area or online activities you know of.