Posted on May 5, 2014 by Roger Brewin
Since shorthly after the State of Arizona outlawed Public School courses in "Ethnic Studies," and removed some 80 books, mostly by Hispanic authors, from Tucson classrooms, HUUmanists has been involved with opposing these acts of censorship and cultural oppression. Partnering with Puente (a community organizing group in Phoenix) and "Librotrafficante" Tony Diaz of Nuestra Palabra, we had well over 300 people each "smUUggle" one of these banned books into the UUA's 2012 General assembly in Phoenix.
Over the next year we helped establish community libraries based on banned books at Puente's new headquarters, and in Tucson, El Paso and Louisville. This year we are giving individuals the opportunity to "spread banned books around:" buying a low cost copy of one of the titles, and after reading it, passing it on to a friend, or dropping it in a public location. Labels on the cover and fly leaf of each book explain why it was "banned," and how the reader can participate.
So far we have placed in libraries or public locations over 700 copies of the books Arizona did not want students to read. You can help get us to a thousand! Pick up a copy at the HUUmanist booth at the Providence GA in June, or at HUU tables at UU District meetings in Erie, PA, Bloomington, IN or Vero Beach, FL, his spring.
You can keep the project going by donating in any amount (we'll buy more banned books) at HUUmanists.org. Just note in he comments section that your donation is for Banned Books. Let Roger Brewin know at 773 881 4028 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to get your humanist group or congregation involved.
Fight against classroom censorship:Last month, Roger came to the church I attend. I bought one of the books: Drown by Junot Diaz. Good book...for 16 year-olds and up. I don't believe in censorship for adults but I believe in age appropriateness for younger readers. I did pass the book along-to an adult. The copy I had is now being read in Peru by a woman who will appreciate the talent of Junot Diaz. It is sad older teens in AZ won't have the opportunity to read this book as part of their curriculum. Get it from the library. It is a good read!