Banned Books Week was created in 1982 as a designated week for celebrating free and open access to information and bringing awareness to challenged books. Many times, parents voice concerns for their children being exposed to different content in literature. The majority of books are asked to be banned from schools or public libraries; however, numerous libraries across the United States favor diversity and oppose this form of censorship. As libraries, we uphold our stance of supporting intellectual freedom and the right to read.
This year, Banned Books Week (September 25-October 1) will highlight books written by diverse authors, including authors of color. There is a vast array of diverse topics in literature that are challenged for a variety of reasons, the top ones including offensive language, sexually explicit material, violence, content considered unsuitable for the age group, and homosexuality.
The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library stands in solidarity with libraries that promote freedom to access and read diverse books. In the NMBCC Library and Wells Library collection, you can find many challenged books written by African American authors. Here is a list of important literature written by African American authors that have been asked to be banned for different reasons:
Beloved / Toni Morrison
Invisible Man / Ralph Ellison
The Color Purple / Alice Walker
Native Son / Richard Wright
The Autobiography of Malcolm X / Malcolm X and Alex Haley
The Bluest Eye / Toni Morrison
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings / Maya Angelou
Things Fall Apart / Chinua Achebe
Their Eyes Were Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston
A Lesson Before Dying / Ernest J. Gaines
Go Tell It on the Mountain / James Baldwin
Song of Solomon / Toni Morrison
Take a look at these resources to learn more about Banned Books Week and the reasons for banning some of the titles mentioned above:
We hope you enjoy learning about this celebration and read some banned books this week!