In the past 10 years of this blog’s existence, I’ve written frequently in defense of books — against bans, government censorship, or corrupt cancellations. My view is unchanged, but the problem has worsened. America may very well be at its low point in my lifetime in regards to free speech and books. I implore people to educate themselves on what has been taking place — and to easily envision what should get progressively worse. The past few years have been ugly when it comes to book bans.
Four decades ago, in 1982, Banned Books Week, was born. I urge you to see www.banedbooksweek.org and to, share what you learn with others. Bans, censorship, and cancelations can’t happen when informed people speak up, even defending books they dislike.
Here. I’ll start. I despise Donald Trump. He’s a liar, bully, fraud, and a danger to society. However, he deserves the opportunity to be heard on social media, in books, and in traditional media. Why? Because that’s free speech.
Put out all of the ideas, defend your claims, challenge opinions, expose lies, and let truth win out. We don’t win when we don’t allow every and anyone a voice. We only succeed by exposing everyone to all information and ideas. We need to educate people on how to filter and understand what they are being told. A savvy reader/consumer will not get fooled- but won’t knee-jerk ignore the existence of other information; ideas, and opinions*. If we shut down those we don’t like or understand, we risk someone shutting down what we do want to hear.
This year’s theme for Banned Books Week (September 26 to October 2, 2021) is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” So true!
One of the many partners/ sponsors of Banned Books Week is national Coalition Against Censorship. They say: “Banned Books Week has highlighted the value of free and open access to information by drawing attention to the attempts to remove books and other materials from libraries, schools, and bookstores, for young people in particular, books offer both shared and differently lived experiences that help them develop empathy and understand themselves and their world. In turn, censorship isolates us from each other by narrowing our view of the world.”
This year’s honorary choice for Banned Books Week, New York Times best-selling author Jason Reynolds. says:
“To censor a book is to damage the framework in which we live. Any time we eliminate or wall off certain narratives, we are not getting a whole picture of the world in which we live. And navigating the world in a way that is closed off, closed-minded is poisonous. It means that we limit our vocabulary, which complicates how we communicate with one another. We have to celebrate stories and ensure that all books have a space on the shelves and the opportunity to live in the psyches of our children.”
Some of the Banned Books Week Coalition members include:
· American Booksellers Association
· American Library Association
· American Society of Journalists and Authors
· Authors Guild
· PEN America
· Book Legal Defense Find
· Association of University Presses
· Center for the Book in the Library of Congress
· Project Censored
· People for the American Way Foundation
· National Council of Teachers of English
· Index of Censorship
· Freedom to Read Foundation
· Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
· Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
Please patronize, donate to, and publicly support the efforts of these institutions to keep America’s First Amendment alive and well. Free speech comes from the Constitution, but it only exists for all practical matters when good people such as you stand up for what’s right.
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at [email protected] He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in helping thousands of authors in all genres.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a “best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.