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What 100-Year-Old Grace Linn Can Teach Us About Standing Up for the Freedom to Read: Book Censorship News, March 31, 2023

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Grace Linn is a 100-year-old widow of a WWII veteran, a grandmother, and a craftivist. On Tuesday, she spoke at a Martin County, Florida faculty board assembly to protest the removal of 80+ books from the school library. Her assertion has gotten quite a lot of media protection, and she or he was later interviewed on MSNBC, Fox 35, and extra. That’s for good motive, as a result of in a speech that lasted only some minutes, she’s successfully demonstrated what’s wanted to battle again in opposition to censorship.

Kelly Jensen is taking a much-needed break this week, so I’m filling in for the Censorship News Roundup. One of the questions Kelly and different anti-censorship activists and teams obtain essentially the most typically is, “What can we do? How can I help?” The Censorship Round Up archive is crammed with so some ways to assist, from voting to calling your consultant to talking up at school board and library board conferences and extra. We even have an anticensorship tool lit. We even compiled and up to date assets into an e book: How to Fight Book Bans and Censorship. The assets are there. But it’s as much as you to behave, and Grace Linn reveals precisely how to do this. Here are a few of the classes she supplies, from best to the more difficult!

1) Show Up To School Board and Library Board Meetings

The first step to creating your voice heard is to indicate up — and if Grace Linn can do it at 100, hopefully she could be a position mannequin to others. If you’re nervous due to the type of vitriol that comes out in a few of these conferences, think about bringing a pal. If you completely can’t present up — as a result of it’s important to work on the identical time, for instance — see if you happen to can persuade a pal or member of the family (or many!) to indicate up. And write in along with your ideas. Call if you happen to can, as a result of that normally leaves an even bigger impression, however writing in or emailing can also be an awesome step.

2) Speak Up

Attending these conferences is step one, however with a purpose to make your voice heard, you do have to talk up! Each board may have its personal requirements for signing as much as converse and for the way lengthy you’ll be able to converse. Usually, you’ll have only a few minutes. Most folks script their statements, and you’ll apply beforehand to make it extra snug. Grace Linn’s assertion is brief and highly effective — although you don’t need to stay as much as it to talk! Here’s a template to get you started.

3) Use Your Passions

One of the explanations Grace Linn’s assertion went viral is that she made a quilt with banned and challenged books. Quilting is a ravishing and time-consuming artwork kind, so holding up this quilt communicates with out saying a phrase simply how passionate she is about this matter. It’s craftivism! Think about what you’re obsessed with, what your hobbies are, and the way you should use them to battle for the liberty to learn. Maybe it’s internet hosting a frisbee golf fundraiser to boost cash for EveryLibrary. Maybe it’s making TikToks or graphics to unfold the phrase. Maybe it’s having a public read-in along with your e book membership outdoors the college district’s constructing. Whatever it’s that you simply already love doing, brainstorm how you should use it to make literary activism one thing that’s personally participating in addition to significant.

4) Have it Filmed and Spread the Word

Of course, Grace Linn’s speech by no means may have gone viral if it wasn’t filmed. These board assembly feedback could also be filmed already, nevertheless it doesn’t damage to get a pal to do that, too, particularly if they’ve a high-quality digicam. Bonus factors if you may get somebody to edit it and a few professionalism. Then it’s time to unfold the phrase: submit it on social media, ask your followers to spice up it, and see if you may get it to somebody with a bigger following who can get extra eyes on it. Be positive to make a TikTookay/Instagram Reels-friendly model, too.

5) Tell a Story and Evoke Emotion

Here’s the place it will get a bit of extra superior. One of the explanations Grace Linn’s assertion is so highly effective is that it’s private and tells a narrative. Grace talks about her late husband fighting in World War II, evoking Nazi e book bans and explaining that he fought for freedom, together with the First Amendment and the liberty to learn.

“One of the freedoms that the Nazis crushed was the liberty to learn the books they banned. They stopped the free press and banned and burned books. The freedom to learn, which is protected by the First Amendment, is our important proper and obligation of our democracy. Even so, it’s regularly underneath assault by each the private and non-private teams who suppose they maintain the reality.

Banning books and burning books are the identical. Both are performed for a similar motive — concern of information. Fear just isn’t freedom. Fear just isn’t liberty. Fear is management. My husband died as a father of freedom. I’m a mom of liberty.

Banned books have to be proudly displayed and shielded from faculty boards like this.”

(Bonus factors for reclaiming the title Mother of Liberty. Incredible stuff.)

We haven’t all lived 100 years to attract on, however there’s a motive you’re obsessed with this matter. Some folks speak about how books have been life-saving in their very own life. Others speak about family members who’re affected by e book bans.

Book banning teams faucet into folks’s concern and anger to go viral. Evoking emotion is a strong software, however there are such a lot of higher methods to do this. A private story in regards to the pleasure and acceptance you present in studying a e book that represented you can also be emotional, however in a extra constructive warfare.

6) Bring a Visual

One of the methods Moms for Liberty and different related group use is taking quotes or comics panels out of context, blowing them up, and placing them on poster board with quite a lot of fear-mongering additions. Grace Linn’s quilt just isn’t solely a means to usher in her crafting abilities and fervour, nevertheless it’s additionally eye-catching and extremely memorable. Of course, most of us don’t have that actual ability, however take into consideration a visible you’ll be able to carry alongside whenever you converse. Maybe it’s quotes from readers who discovered that e book life-saving, or the logos of all of the awards it’s obtained. Maybe, if you happen to’re a pupil, it’s a photograph of you and your mates having a e book membership and all fortunately holding up the e book. Or possibly you might have your personal craft to carry, like a e book banning model of a temperature blanket!

I hope that this evokes you to comply with in Grace Linn’s footsteps!

If you’re a literary agent, don’t neglect to fill out Kelly’s survey about whether or not you’ve seen e book banning impact e book acquisitions. And if you happen to aren’t a literary agent, please enhance it on social media to get it to the fitting folks!

Book Censorship News: March 31, 2023


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