VC/UHV Library holds annual Banned Books Week event
Readout
University of Houston-Victoria poet and designer in residence Charles Alexander speaks during Thursday’s Banned Books Readout at the VC/UHV Library.

The VC/UHV Library recognized Banned Books Week on Thursday with a “Stand Up for Your Right to Read” Banned Books Readout.

Banned Books Week, which is Sept. 25-Oct. 1, was created to bring awareness to censorship, the freedom to read and the First Amendment.

University of Houston-Victoria poet and designer in residence Charles Alexander served as the keynote speaker for the event.

“There are lots of ways in which there are inhibitions of what we can know, whether it is in strict bans and prohibitions or in other ways,” Alexander said. “Lest we think that all book bans were 50 or 60 years ago, the book ‘Sophie’s Choice’ was banned recently in Lebanon for its depiction of Jews.”

Alexander also noted books banned this decade in South Korea and China and stated Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. were banned authors during their lifetimes.

“If you think banned books are a thing of the past, it’s a good thing you aren’t in prison because the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has a list of 15,000 banned books,” Alexander said. “Many are banned for maybe legitimate reasons like how to make weapons and things like that. But many are banned for the simple reason that they might contribute to a breakdown in the prison system, and that includes almost any book on civil rights.”

VC/UHV Library Director Joe Dahlstrom said the eighth annual event serves to inform students and the community about the dangers of limiting free speech.

“It is important to protect our First Amendment rights,” Dahlstrom told a group of approximately 30 students in attendance. “I hope this raises awareness of the importance of keeping our First Amendment rights as free as they are.”

Readout
VC/UHV Library Director Joe Dahlstrom speaks to students during Thursday’s Banned Books Readout.
Published: Thursday, 29 September 2016
 

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