Banned in America
1. Food for Thought:
- There always has been and always will be censorship.
- Is this true: "Fear is the root of all censorship."
- “Us” and “Them” is often the universal language of censorship.
- Who has the right to determine when “a line has been crossed”?
- When “we” decide that “they” are promoting “hate,” who decides the definition of “hate”? One culture’s “hate” is another culture’s “norm.”
- Is there such a thing as too much “political correctness”?
- Censoring censorship can be a form of censorship. EXAMPLES: “We” don’t like “them” censoring books, so “we” will prevent “them” from doing so because “they” are [fill in blank] and “we” are [fill in blank]. “They” use speech (art, music, etc.) that promotes [fill in some form of "crime"]; we must prevent that.
3. A Brief History of Censorship
- The National Library of Norway and the Bibliotheca Alexandria maintain a website dedicated to censorship past and present. This link focuses on the historical aspects: http://www.beaconforfreedom.org/liste.html?tid=415&art_id=475
- The Encyclopedia Britannica’s extensive entry on censorship is an excellent overview: https://www.britannica.com/topic/censorship
- The Huffington Post presented an excellent “summary” article on Art Censorship in 2014: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/16/art-censorship_n_6465010.html
- The Book and Periodical Council of Canada maintains a site called Freedom to Read. This link gives a brief overview of “Bannings and Burnings” in History: http://www.freedomtoread.ca/links-and-resources/bannings-and-burnings-in-history/#.WYz7cTOGPIV
- The National Coalition Against Censorship provides this brief overview of censorship in the film industry: http://ncac.org/resource/a-brief-history-of-film-censorshi
- European History Online: The history of censorship of printed materials in Europe; a well-documented 2013 entry: http://ieg-ego.eu/en/threads/european-media/censorship-and-freedom-of-the-press
- An overview of censorship in music: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_censorship
- Censorship in the Soviet Union: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_the_Soviet_Union
- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum provides this article about censorship in Nazi Germany: https://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007677
4. Censorship in America
- THE AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION. There are links to the lists that go back to “Before 1990”: https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10
- THOUGHT CO. provides an interesting overview of a dozen examples of censorship in the Arts as well as links to more extensive lists for specific industries like television: https://www.thoughtco.com/censorship-in-the-united-states-721221
- The ACLU provides links to dozens of very left-leaning articles focusing on specific examples of censorship across a broad range of topics, including censorship on the Internet: https://www.aclu.org/search/Censorship
- The History Channel provides this overview of “The Hollywood Black List”: http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/hollywood-ten
5a. Recent and On-Going Examples:
- Wikipedia’s current entry on Book Censorship in America is nicely documented and provides links to articles about specific texts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_censorship_in_the_United_States
- The centrist British publication THE WEEK provides this list of “America’s Most Surprising Banned Books” (which includes The American Heritage Dictionary): http://theweek.com/articles/459795/americas-most-surprising-banned-books
- QUARTZ, produced by the slightly left-center Atlantic Publications, presented this “Top Ten List” of Banned Books in America for 2016: https://qz.com/954175/banned-books-the-top-10-books-americans-tried-to-ban-in-2016/
- A New York Times article about the current “culture war” going on regarding Google and the Tech Industry: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/business/alt-right-silicon-valley-google-memo.html?_r=0
5b. FAHRENHEIT 451 and THE MARTIAN:
Censored versus Self-Censored
5c. Film and Television Adaptations:
2. ScreenwritersGary Whitta has worked in Hollywood for 15 years, and if the experience has taught him anything, it’s that screenwriters don’t have much control over the final product. “Oftentimes when you work on a movie, it gets all bent and pushed and pulled out of shape by the various people on the film who are more powerful than you,” Whitta says . . . . “Because everyone on a film is more powerful than the writer.” Fresh ideas face an uphill battle in Hollywood. At first Warner Bros. was enamored with the edginess of Whitta’s script for The Book of Eli, a post-apocalyptic thriller with religious overtones. But when push came to shove, the studio balked. https://www.wired.com/2015/08/geeks-guide-gary-whitta/
6a. Banned Book and Censorship Videos:
- On the Abebooks.com website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaaEWvq07dc
- Banned Books Week website. Authors speak about banning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m51PXru3pug
- CBS NEWS report on Banned Books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyDcw8rkNp8
- TOP TENZ report on Banned Books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NSYn7mnETo
6b. Authors Speak Out:
- George M. Johnson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9J2qRsbm4o
- John Green: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69rd-7vEF3s&t=56s
- Sherman Alexie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkU13p9mHGI
- Rupi Kaur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnB5_vOgRSg
- Art Spiegelman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BmjCDoIyV0
- Various LGBTQ+ Writers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDppHAzyFew