by Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh: President, Word Branch Media
So cherished is the right of free speech that it is the first amendment of the constitution in the US. Internationally, it is included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And every year the American Library Association (ALA) devotes a week to celebrate free speech with Banned Book Week.
My alma mater, Wilmington College, celebrated intellectual freedom by encouraging students, faculty and staff to pick a selection from their favorite banned books and read them aloud in the college theater. The ALA sponsors similar events nationwide at libraries, colleges and bookstores to remind us all that censorship is a dangerous thing and communication is a basic right.
Books that are challenged or banned include some well-known classics like The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye. JK Rowlings, Judy Blume, Toni Morrison, Sherman Alexie and Mark Twain are among dozens of authors who are regularly challenged. Reasons for challenging a book range from offensive language and violence to political and religious viewpoints.
September 24 to October 1, 2011 marks the 11 year of American Library Association’s Banned Books Readout. Anyone can participate either in a physical location or virtually to celebrate our freedom to read. Education is the best defense, so spread the word and read a few chapters from your favorite banned book.
All of the information in this blog comes from the American Library Association’s website: http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek/index.cfm
The WordWeb Blog brings to you information, tips, trivia and more about writing, reading, editing and books written by experts in the field.