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Banning a Book is Closing a Mind — Poster of the Week

Banning a Book is Closing a Mind
Photo: Christopher Vail
Public Media Center
Inkworks Press
Offset, Circa 1986
Berkeley, CA

In 1982—exactly forty years ago—the Supreme Court ruled that school officials cannot ban books solely based on their content. Tell that to a Pennsylvania School District that last year banned books by Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tell that to the McMinn County School Board in eastern Tennessee who last month unanimously voted to ban Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel “Maus” from its eighth grade classes. “Maus” depicts Spiegelman’s father’s experiences as a Polish Holocaust survivor.

The move to ban books and censor classroom topics is rapidly spreading across the country. The banned topics include anything to do with critical race theory and LGBTQ+ issues. The states with the most censorship are primarily the same states that are passing laws making it harder to vote and harder to get an abortion. The pattern is clear. We need to fight back.

Censorship and banning books are supposed to be associated with repressive regimes and not democracies — but once again, the U.S. is proving to be the exception to the mythic rule.


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