People For the American Way Foundation Statement on Banned Books Week, Sept. 22-28

WAshington, D.C. SEPT. 23, 2019— As the nation observes Banned Books Week this week (Sept. 22-28), PFAW President Michael Keegan released the following statement:

“People For the American Way Foundation is proud once again to sponsor Banned Books Week, an annual event dedicated to the freedom to read and freedom of speech.  Unfortunately, this year’s Banned Books Week comes as attacks on our First Amendment rights are proliferating.  We have a president who regularly tries to undermine a free and independent press, skating dangerously close to the tactics of authoritarian regimes in which censorship and government propaganda are the norm. Banned Books Week reminds us that we must be constantly vigilant against censorship of our words, thoughts and opinions — now more than ever.”

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This year’s Banned Books Week theme is “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark. Keep the Light On.” As it has every year, the American Library Association, a leader of the Banned Books Week coalition, has released a list of the most-challenged books from U.S. schools and libraries. People For the American Way Foundation’s “Book Wars” report notes that a common element among many banned or challenged books is “their frank portrayals of the experiences of marginalized people.”