Dear Fellow Citizen Readers & Writers,
We enter hollow ground covering unseen sinkholes when we ban works of art. When we ban books like PUSH, The Color Purple, Beloved, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X we stand not just to close our collective minds, but to lose them.
We’ve entered into an age where the inability to feel and empathize has led to a collective psychosis characterized by mass murders in the classroom and in our places of worship.
PUSH is a book about the awakening and healing of a violent and violated child. Through acts of of love, demonstrated by her teacher and classmates, she becomes an academic success story and a proud, loving mother. PUSH is a story about the power of language, the letters of the alphabet, that many of our children leave school never having learned.
PUSH is about the power of language to transform and open the mind and the heart.
But most of all PUSH loves.
When we ban books like PUSH, we are in danger of falling into the sinkholes of hate and prejudice and ignorance and of losing what little love we have left for each other.
Yours in healing, hope, and love,
“Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. Banned Books Week is both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their communities."
“Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.”
―Laurie Halse Anderson
"Books are under profound attack in the United States. They are disappearing from library shelves, being challenged in droves, being decreed off limits by school boards, legislators, and prison authorities. And everywhere, it is the books that have long fought for a place on the shelf that are being targeted. Books by authors of color, by LGBTQ+ authors, by women. Books about racism, sexuality, gender, history. PEN America pushes back against the banning of books and the intolerance, exclusion, and censorship that undergird it.
PEN America tracks all book bans in libraries and classrooms across the U.S. in our Index of School Book Bans, updated for the 2022-2023 school year.
Read the Banned in the USA Report."
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