Banned Books Week, an annual event organized by the American Library Association (ALA), grants readers, parents, teachers and librarians an opportunity to discuss the value of unhindered expression.
Throughout the week, The Huffington Post will highlight voices from various communities impacted by censorship, including LGBT readers, religious writers and Latino bibliophiles. We will share an excerpt from a frequently challenged graphic novel, and examine the effect book banning has had on literature historically. We've also invited our readers -- especially those in the education field -- to share photos of the banned books they teach or admire.
We've also taken a look at data provided by the ALA* about which books and authors have been challenged recently, where those challenges occur, and what the cited reasons are for said challenges.
What's the difference between a challenge and a ban? The ALA explains: "A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials."
To find out whether your favorite author is subject to censorship, or whether your state is prone to challenging titles, check out the infographics below:
*This data is based on information provided from the American Library Association, from January 1, 2013 to August 6, 2014. It represents reported challenges, and does not account for those that go unreported.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" (http://johnbrownnotesandessays.blogspot.com/2017/03/notes-and-references-for-discussion-e.html). Affiliated with Georgetown University (http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/jhb7/) for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."