Skip to main content

Banned Books

Words Have Power!

image of Banned Books Week web banner

Join Us!

Join us for "Banned Books & Censorship in Education: A Roundtable Discussion"

Thursday, September 28, 6:30pm, Building 86, Room 129

Panelists:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Bemiss, Teacher Education & Educational Leadership
  • Ms. Mary Kate Griffith, 2014 CBLDF Banned Book Week Superhero
  • Dr. Susan James, Teacher Education & Educational Leadership
  • Mr. Scott Satterwhite, English

See our flyer for more information:

What is a Banned Book?

Books have been banned as long as there have been books and continue to be banned or challenged even today. A banned book is a book that may be:

  • removed from a library or libraries
  • not allowed to be published
  • not allowed to enter an entire country
  • not allowed to exist: to be physically destroyed, typically by burning, such as the notorious book burning in Nazi Germany

The most extreme form of banning is the death or demand for the death of the author, as during the Inquisition, or more recently with Salman Rushdie.

Challenge or Ban?

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.

Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

Even in Pensacola...

Pensacola's Booker T. Washington High School made national headlines in 2014 when the school principal canceled the One School/One Book summer reading program because Cory Doctorow's Little Brother promotes the questioning of authority, lauds "hacker culture," and discusses sex and sexuality in passing.  After unsuccessfully urging the school to reinstate the book, Doctrow and his publisher sent 200 complimentary copies of the book directly to students.  

The First Amendment

In the United States, your right to read what you want is protected by the First Amendment. In a free society, the author and reader are protected.