book banning
(Andrei Metelev/Shutterstock)

American Library Association Documents 155 Attempts at Banning Books About POC or LGBTQ Issues in the Last 6 Months

In a depressing turn for anyone who thought society may have outgrown book burning or censorship of books over the last 100 years, it appears the hate-filled phenomenon is back on the rise, increasing with alarming frequency across the country.

CNN’s Nicole Chavez has reported the American Library Association “has provided legal guidance and support to a number of libraries impacted by the ‘dramatic uptick’ of attempts to remove books concerning LGBTQ issues and people of color.”

According to Chavez, “since June 1, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has tracked 155 incidents [of book banning] across the country and has provided support and consultation in 120 of those cases.”

“We’re seeing an unprecedented volume of challenges in the fall of 2021,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said in an interview with CNN. “In my 20 years with ALA, I can’t recall a time when we had multiple challenges coming in on a daily basis.”

According to Caldwell-Stone and her group, most instances of book banning and censoring they have encountered center on one consistent and disturbing message: “the voices of the marginalized have no place on library shelves.”

In their attacks against the books that they want to see banned, these groups claim the titles are “subversive,” “immoral,” and will cause individuals who read them “to abandon constitutional principles, ignore the rule of law and disregard individual rights.”

“Some of these groups even resort to intimidation and threats to achieve their ends, targeting the safety and livelihoods of library workers, educators and board members who have dedicated themselves to public service, informing our communities and educating our youth,” ALA said in a statement to the media.

Even as these challenges mount, the ALA has pledged to continue fighting these bans and the racist and homophobic bias behind them, as well as “defending the constitutional rights of all individuals of all ages to use the resources and services of libraries.”

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.


Latest News

Melanie Willingham-Jaggers

People on the Move: Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, New Executive Director of LGBTQ Advocacy Group GLSEN

The nationwide LGBTQ+ advocacy group Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has announced the appointment of its new Executive Director, Melanie Willingham-Jaggers. They will be the first Black, nonbinary individual to lead the group in its 32-year history. Founded in 1990 by a group of educators focused on helping…

Walmart interior

Black Corrections Officer Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting in Walmart Claims Store Employees Racially Profiled Him 

Despite Walmart’s ongoing commitment to diversity as an organization, employees at one store in Georgia have been accused of racially profiling one of their customers. Monique Beals of The Hill reported that “David Conners, a Clayton County corrections officer, was stopped and handcuffed by a Fayetteville police officer while he…

Walgreens exterior

Walgreens Planning Virtual Summit To Promote Supplier Diversity

National pharmaceutical giant Walgreens (No. 39 on the DiversityInc Top 50 list) has announced an upcoming supplier diversity summit designed to help the country’s numerous diverse businesses and entrepreneurs promote their businesses and offerings.  Business news site Retail Info Systems (RIS) reported that the virtual event, scheduled for April 5th…

Boeing CEO David Calhoun Provides ESG and Supply Chain Update in Message to Employees

Originally published at Boeing Company ranked No. 17 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun shared the following message with employees addressing the company’s fourth-quarter results: As we share our fourth-quarter results, I want to thank you for your hard work and…

Cox Communications logo on screen.

Cox on 5 Things To Not Compromise in 2022

Originally published at Cox Communications ranked No. 32 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   As you jump into a new year, you may have a list of resolutions you plan to work toward. From short-term goals like reading one book per month to long-term…