The Banned Books Atlas of America
Banned Books Week has come and gone, but it’s left behind this most enlightening document, made by the sex & tech blogger Violet Blue. The map displays instances of parent protest, library challenges, and other censorship in the US from 2007 to 2010. It’s interesting to go through and read up on individual cases (some surpising titles, it’s not all The Golden Compass and Harry Potter). Moreover, let’s all take a look at the geographic dispersion of the thing. Notice that the hub of interference is neither in the Deep South, nor the Midwest, but right along the liberal bastion that is the North Atlantic Seaboard. This challenged my image of the typical free-speech enemy, there seem to be fewer religiously-motivated uneducated rednecks than I thought. Meanwhile, there’s a lot more well-meaning liberal PTA types who feel, say, that black kids should best be sheltered from the tuff reality of their ancestry. A lesson learned. Of course, the more important question is this: Where do we get the data to build one of these for Canada? Anyone want to help me look around?