Posted inEducation

Banned book lists serve only one purpose: to entrench prejudice and bigotry

Reading Time: 7 minutes Last year Texas lawmaker, Matt Krause got himself noticed by creating a list of 850 books he deemed unsuitable for young readers. The Krause list of “unsuitable material”—including Class Act (2020) by award-winning writer and illustrator Jerry Craft—was distributed to a large number of schools libraries in the state. As a consequence, one school district […]

Posted inEducation

Censorship and book-burning, American style

Reading Time: 9 minutes The war on literature currently being waged in parts of America—Texas stands out as the epicenter of the backward march to a period when the Roman Catholic Church had deployed its enormous power to ban manuscripts and books—prompted me to delve into the history of free speech and the efforts that are made to curtail […]

Posted inNews

What’s behind the right-wing push for censorship in schools?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Numerous school boards across the country have pushed to ban books about white supremacy, slavery, and other important topics relating to American history. Books written by authors from marginalized groups have been especially targeted.  In Tennessee, the McMinn County school board made headlines by banning Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel about the Holocaust, Maus. “We don’t […]

Posted inFilm/TV

‘Hey, look, there’s a Black man on the TV!’

Reading Time: 7 minutes I had never seen television in South Africa. It wasn’t introduced until 1976, three years after I fled the republic when my name was placed on a list of “undesirables” deemed to be a threat to the apartheid regime. We were all in imminent danger of being charged with belonging to banned organizations and consorting […]

Posted inBooks

Censorship and book-burning

Reading Time: 9 minutes Asked last year during a Zoom talk I gave to a UK Humanist group what book, if any, had the greatest influence on my life, I got blank stares when I proffered the name of a publication none had ever heard of: Jacobsen’s Index to Objectionable Literature. By around 1970, Jacobsen’s comprised a list of […]