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One Whole Year of the #VelshiBannedBookClub

One year ago, when the concept for the #VelshiBannedBookClub was born, we began to compile our own list of banned literature to feature -- including titles many viewer suggestions, like the modern classic “A Handmaid’s Tale” and the perennially taught “To Kill a Mockingbird” – and noticed an alarming pattern. The books that are most frequently targeted for ban shared the same three topics: sexual identity, racism in America, and women’s bodily autonomy including sexual assault and rape. And throughout the year, the bans have only grown. And it’s the next generation that will pay the price. They are being left without a safe way to understand themselves and the world around them. They won’t have Melinda from “Speak” to lead them through the searing pain of sexual assault, or Dante from “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” to join them with an all-encompassing first love, or Nikole Hannah-Jones “The 1619 Project” to explore Black legacy in America. A year ago, our thesis was “censorship is never okay”. And that still remains. But today, after speaking with so many authors and reading so many of these villainized books, the #VelshiBannedBookClub has become a form of resistance.
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