Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will run from September 25−October 1, 2016, and will be observed in thousands of libraries, schools, bookstores and other community settings across the nation and the world. This year's Banned Books Week is celebrating diversity.
It is estimated that over half of all banned books are by authors of color, or contain events and issues concerning diverse communities, according to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom*. This year’s Banned Books Week will celebrate literature written by diverse writers that has been banned or challenged, as well as explore why diverse books are being disproportionately singled out in the first place.
“It’s alarming to see so many diverse voices facing censorship,” says Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition. “2016’s Banned Books Week is an important moment for communities to join together in affirming the value of diverse ideas and multiple viewpoints. By shining a light on how these ideas are censored, we hope to encourage opportunities to create engagement and understanding within our communities, and to emphasize the fundamental importance of the freedom to read.” We Need Diverse Books!
Frequently Challenged Books with Diverse Content
Here is a selection of books by diverse authors or containing diverse content that have been frequently challenged and/or banned. While diversity is seldom given as a reason for a challenge, it seems, in fact, to be an underlying and unspoken factor. These challenged works are often about people and issues which include LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities—people or issues that, perhaps, challengers would prefer not to consider
Free Materials to Promote Banned Books Week at Your Library
Top ten most challenged books of 2015