By Denise Parker
Amnesty International Human Rights Club and Glendale Community College collaborated to host the ninth annual Banned Book Week in front of the Student Union on the main campus Sept. 26.
Banned Book Week brought attention to books in public school libraries that some groups have sought to have removed from library shelves and required reading lists. Raising awareness for books that have been challenged is celebrated every September through the American Library Association.
A podium was available for people to advocate the right to read and students read excerpts from blacklisted books of their choosing. They also gave reasoning for the books removal, their own opinion on the matter and a personal reflection piece.
The GCC library put together a display containing books that have been given restricted access. These were available for checkout at the event.
Members of the Amnesty International Human Rights (AIHR) Club also spoke at the event and brought attention to journalists arrested for reporting news, including American citizens. Their booth offered a petition to free those they believe were wrongfully detained. Participants of the club took a stand for free speech.
“I like getting people to know more about Amnesty and to create dialogue. These things need to be talked about,” Treasure of the AIHR Club Julissa Peiro said.
Various groups, such as parents, special interest groups, and religious organizations, seek to remove certain books from public access due to the books content.
Other groups, like local libraries, advocate for intellectual freedom.
Many of the books that are banned or challenged encompassed themes of drugs, profanity, LGBTQ topics, violence, alleged agendas for communism, graphic sex scenes, underage drinking, and religious undertones.
Examples include “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, “The Perks of being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chiosky, “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, and “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling.
If you are interested in reading a book that has been challenged or banned, visit your local library or GCC’s library and their banned books displays. You can also check out the American Library Association at www.ala.org.
For more information about GCC’s Amnesty International Human Rights Club, head towards their meetings every Friday from 12:15-1:30 p.m. at GCC’s Library in room 139.