Last updated on November 22, 2022
Books that contain controversial themes have been causing more disputes over the last few decades. Over the last few centuries, more than 2,500 books have been banned across the United States. Banned books take away students’ access to important literature with real-world themes and subjects.
Most books are banned on the premise of having graphic images and themes, and including ideas of homosexuality and race. 41% of banned books contain LGBTQ+ themes, and 40% contain protagonists of color and discuss race frequently throughout the books. Those who challenge books are usually offended by some aspect of the contents of the book and do not want their community’s youth to be involved in normalizing subjects such as queerness and equal rights. In 2022 alone, 681 ban attempts or restricted library resources have been recorded, and 1,651 individual titles have been targeted for bans.
At Baltimore City College, students have been able to read multiple books that have been banned targets, and the lessons that followed such books have discussed their positions as challenged or banned books.
An English teacher described recent book banning in the US as “appalling” and feels “lucky to be teaching here [Baltimore City].”
After interviewing a few students, one described book banning as “infringement of the liberty to read.”
It is a subtle way of restricting knowledge from youth and controlling views of the next generations.
Over the summer and earlier this year, seniors read Fun Home by Allison Bechdel, a book that has been banned in New Jersey, Missouri, and South Dakota. Bringing awareness to this and trying to reverse the effects of banned books is the next best step in removing this control over the ideas some groups of people won’t accept that are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society. It is important to be aware of the freedom or lack of freedom that one has in order to look to better your community and the future of it and the world.