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In this issue of Censorship News, we look at Toni Morrison, her experiences with book censorship, and the ongoing challenges to books in classrooms and libraries. You can download a pdf of the newsletter here.
Here’s an excerpt from “Reflections on Book Censorship, circa 2009“:
It all started with Adam and Eve tasting the fruit of the tree of knowledge, says Toni Morrison. For this sin, they were cast out of Eden. The message was: “Knowledge is bad, it is sinful, it will corrupt you.” At the same time, she observed, knowledge is “the route out of any oppression, any limitation.” Slaves once risked their lives to learn to read. “You have to read, you have to know, you have to have access to knowledge.”
In The First Amendment in the Courts we review the Federal Communications Commission’s ongoing battle with fleeting expletives; whether depictions of “animal cruelty” should be considered protected expression; and current gene patent ownership and how they limit scientific research and access to information.
Joan Bertin, Executive Director of NCAC, looks at academic freedom for controversial professors, focusing on Ward Churchill. She underlines how “the right to speak, write, and think independently is at the core of higher education.” Read her piece here.
Our roundup of some of the top censorship stories in The Long and the Short of It.
We have an excerpt from JoAnn Wypijewski’s piece “Through a Lens Starkly” which lays out the uncomfortable system of the monitoring, investigation, and punishment of teens who take nude photos of themselves.