Books are being banned from schools and public libraries at alarming rates, and stories from LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC authors are disproportionately being pulled from shelves. How do book bans harm learning and access to information? What do these challenges say about the American educational system? Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom and George M. Johnson, author of the widely challenged book “All Boys Aren’t Blue'' join host Roy Wood Jr. to break down where these book bans are coming from, the political ideology behind them, and how these banned books can help young readers understand complex issues.
The fight over banning books
Between 2020 and 2022, the number of book titles that have been banned in U.S. libraries and schools spiked more than 1,100%, to more than 2,500, while activists in 37 states have challenged school districts for offering non-fiction and fiction books that discuss race and racism, slavery, sex and gender identity. Correspondent Martha Teichner talks with opposing forces on the reading battlefield today, from the founders of the activist group Moms for Liberty, to library officials, a teacher removed from her classroom for giving her students access to banned books, and cartoonist Art Spiegelman, whose Holocaust-themed graphic novel "Maus" has been targeted by book banners.