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Free expression is constanty challenged in literature, the arts, in broadcast media, and on the Internet. Use these selected resources to help you learn more about censorship in its many forms.
Gather the facts and decide for yourself.
Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011 (PDF)
Archive of Censorship Cases
"Was there a time or place in history in which censorship did not exist? Was there ever a group of human beings that was able to survive without censure? ... Despite the impossible nature of attempting to define censorship, The File Room is a project that proposes to address it, providing a tool for discussing and coming to terms with cultural censorship."
Case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (1988) 485 U.S. 46
"...even when a speaker or writer is motivated by hatred or ill-will his expression [is] protected by the First Amendment."
Censorship IQ quiz from KidSPEAK!
Find out just how much you know about censorship by taking this online quiz created by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.
Author and editor Warren S. Apel writes, "The purpose of this page is not to encourage flag burning. Nor is it to promote wanton desecration of a symbol which many hold dear. ...This page was established in March of 1995... to provide a rational and intelligent debate on the issue of flag desecration, to illustrate the absurdity and unconstitutional nature of any flag desecration law, and to assist students and researchers who are gathering information on this controversial topic."
First Amendment First Aid Kit from Random House Publishers
America's booksellers, librarians, and teachers have long been on the front lines of the battle against censorship. In support of these daily efforts, Random House Children's Books is pleased to present the First Amendment First Aid Kit to address the needs of booksellers and educators.
Free Expression Clearing House
"The Free Expression Network (FEN) is an alliance of organizations dedicated to protecting the First Amendment right of free expression and the values it represents, and to opposing governmental efforts to suppress constitutionally protected speech. ... FEN maintains [this] web site ... to provide information about First Amendment issues to the public at large."
Index on Censorship for Free Expression
"Index on Censorship, the bi-monthly magazine for free speech, widens the debates on freedom of expression with some of the world's best writers. Through interviews, reportage, banned literature and polemic, Index shows how free speech affects the issues of the moment."
Judy Blume Talks about Censorship
Young-adult fiction writer Judy Blume says, "When I began to write, thirty years ago, I didn't know if anyone would publish my books, but I wasn't afraid to write them. I was lucky. I found an editor and publisher who were willing to take a chance. They encouraged me. I was never told what I couldn't write. I felt only that I had to write the most honest books I could. It never occurred to me, at the time, that what I was writing was controversial. Much of it grew out of my own feelings and concerns when I was young..."
Project Censored claims its primary objective is "to explore and publicize the extent of censorship in our society by locating stories about significant issues of which the public should be aware, but is not, for one reason or another." This is intended "to stimulate responsible journalists" and "to encourage the general public to ... seek information from other sources."
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
The Thomas Jefferson Center, located in Charlottesville, Virginia, is devoted to the defense of free expression in all its forms. "Recognizing that threats to free expression come from all parts of the political spectrum, the Center maintains a nonpartisan stance...." Founded in 1990, the Center "focuses national attention on especially egregious affronts to free expression by awarding Jefferson Muzzles to responsible individuals or organizations.
What Johnny Can't Read: Censorship in American Libraries
An article reviewing the latest developments in censorship efforts, including tactics and approaches used by those who would prevent children from reading certain books because of profanity or what they perceive to be negative moral implications in the books. Explains the reasons for the attempt at censorship and a list of the books most often targeted.
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