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Truthout: Attempted Book Bans Last Year Targeted More Than 4,240 Titles, an All-Time High

First published in Truthout.

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People For's Marge Baker describes the program and purpose of People For's Grandparents For Truth campaign.

A new report from the American Library Association (ALA) notes that there is “absolute evidence” that book bans have become increasingly organized, with bans skyrocketing in 2023 compared to prior years.


In response, organizations have formed to challenge book bans and other right-wing efforts that target LGBTQ and BIPOC students. One such group, Grandparents for Truth, which launched in June of last year, is a project of the progressive advocacy group People for the American Way (PFAW). Members of Grandparents for Truth counter the attacks against curricula or library content by speaking out at board meetings, supporting progressive candidates for school board and opposing extremist candidates running for those seats.

“Authoritarianism is taking shape now in a way that is really, really, really serious, and we felt that there were organizations out there pretending to be for freedom and liberty, but really what they mean by that is freedom and liberty for only particular people, which was not OK,” said Marge Baker, PFAW executive director, speaking to Nadra Nittle of The 19th in December. “So, we felt like we needed to launch something that very visibly and viscerally confronted that message.”

A lot of the efforts are “based on Christian nationalism,” Baker noted, with advocates of far right book bans and other curricula restrictions wrongly claiming “that this country was founded as a Christian nation.”

“What they really mean is that it was founded as a White Christian nation, so material that is ‘acceptable’ is material that only uplifts those traditions,” Baker added. “So you end up with a whole host of communities that historically have been marginalized and attacked who are ending up being attacked by this latest book banning and censorship … in the name of freedom, but this is not about freedom, and we know it’s not.”

Read the full article at Truthout.