Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read that shines a light on censorship of reading material in the United States, has begun. This year, the event focuses on diversity.
"The majority of banned books are disproportionally from diverse authors," Olusina Debayo, project manager for the Association of American Publishers, wrote in a post on the AAP website. "[The American Library Association's] Office for Intellectual Freedom has determined that 52% of the books challenged, or banned, over the past decade are from titles that are considered diverse content."
Along with the AAP, publishers including Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, Bloomsbury, Scholastic, and Sourcebooks will support Banned Books Week through social media pushes, book giveaways, and various other methods. Bookstores including New York's Housing Works, Chicago's Book Cellar, and Denver's Tattered Cover Book Store will host events in celebration.
Banned Books week is run by the Banned Books Week Coalition, a national alliance of organizations committed to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read.
Among the most commonly banned diverse books are works by Ernest J. Gaines, Sherman Alexie, Toni Morrison, Raina Telgemeier, and Alison Bechdel.