An anonymous commentator has brought attention to a great idea about how to respond to a book ban. Here’s an excellent example of a creative and educational response to a school board decision that is as opposite to creativity and education as you can get.
Readers may recall that the school board controlling the Rancocas Valley Regional High School (in New Jersey) recently banned an anthology for queer and questioning youth entitled Revolutionary Voices (see my posts of 5 May and 23 May). “Banned” in this case means “removed from the school library.”
A local group has hit on a brilliant way to respond to this. They are going to put on a “theatrical reading” of the banned book at a local café. The varied prose and poetry in the book readily lends itself to live performance, and it appears that the group has put some real thought into how to stage their production.
Their stated hope is that:
"Upon witnessing our performances, upon reading this text, upon viewing these images, upon hearing these stories, you will recognize that Revolutionary Voices is not pornographic."
To see what they’re up to, visit: http://www.revolutionaryreadings.com
And if you find yourself in the Montclair, NJ, area on June 27, attend the 8pm performance!
This seem like an excellent idea to me, since only a handful of people will every sit and read a banned book to verify the claims being made about it. This performance will give the interested public a chance to learn about the contents of the book, to learn why the book is important for young readers, and to see that there is serious opposition to its censorship. At many levels, this calls the bluff of the school board and the political activists who have challenged the book.