The annual celebration of the freedom to read, set this year for Sept. 25-Oct. 1, will focus on banned books written by people of color. The event will also look to examine why titles by diverse writers are so often challenged.
The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom estimates that over half of all banned books are by authors of color, or contain events and issues concerning diverse communities. Banned Books Week 2016 will explore why diverse books are being disproportionately singled out.
Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition, said in a press release that this year’s event is “an important moment for communities to join together in affirming the value of diverse ideas and multiple viewpoints." The coalition will be partnering with library, reader, and author groups such as We Need Diverse Books in order to bring meaningful conversation to the program.
“By shining a light on how these ideas are censored, we hope to encourage opportunities to create engagement and understanding within our communities, and to emphasize the fundamental importance of the freedom to read,” said Brownstein.
Sponsors behind Banned Books Week include the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers, the National Association of College Stores, and PEN America.