The City Club and Cleveland Public Library shine spotlight on increasing attempts to ban books in schools and libraries.
Cleveland, OH – Banned books, censorship and free speech will be the topic of conversation when Angela Davis, acclaimed author, political activist and Distinguished Professor Emerita speaks at the City Club of Cleveland on Tuesday, October 3 at 4:00 p.m. The forum, which will be moderated by Connie Hill-Johnson, Chairperson, Board of Directors, The Cleveland Foundation and Co-Chair of ClevelandREADS, is presented in partnership with Cleveland Public Library during Banned Books Week.
The forum will be held at the City Club’s new Playhouse Square location, 1317 Euclid Avenue. Doors open at 3:15 p.m. and light refreshments will be served before the forum begins.
“Angela Davis is an icon. Her commitment to intellectual freedom and social justice exemplifies the power of books to challenge the status quo and inspire change,” states Cleveland Public Library Executive Director and CEO Felton Thomas, Jr. “Davis’ visit to Cleveland is fitting as libraries across the country celebrate Banned Books Week.”
An outspoken leader in the ongoing fight for racial justice and the prison abolition movement, Angela Davis is an unwavering voice and activism has made her books targets of bans. Angela Davis: An Autobiography and Are Prisons Obsolete? are banned in prisons across the country. Her most recent book, Abolition. Feminism. Now., written in collaboration with fellow scholar-activists Gina Dent, Erica R. Meiners and Beth E. Richie was published in 2022.
“The City Club of Cleveland, as a guardian of free speech, is proud to host this important conversation with Angela Davis,” said Dan Moulthrop, CEO & President of The City Club of Cleveland. “The ability to access information and a wide variety of perspectives through books is essential for our democracy and our ability to engage in civil discourse on issues that matter to us as a community.”
The American Library Association reports that 2,571 titles were targeted for censorship in libraries across the United States in 2022, representing a 38% increase over 2021. Many of these books are on LGBTQ+ and racial equity topics.
“Angela Davis represents a powerful voice in the fight for knowledge and inclusion,” said Hill-Johnson. “I am eager to explore the topic of banned books with Ms. Davis given the record number of titles targeted in recent years.”
In addition to this forum, Cleveland Public Library’s CLE Reads Young Adult (YA) Book Festival will discuss banned books in partnership with College NOW as well as an event at its Harvard-Lee branch on October 6. The festival features several panels and book signings on October 3 from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. including Angela Davis along with YA authors Rasheed Newson and Leah Johnson. Launched in 1982, Banned Book Week is an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read.