Banned Books Week is September 27-October 3rd. This year Out North and the Anchorage Public Library are teaming up to present unAUTHORized - a special September series highlighting challenged books and discussing themes of institutional racism and oppression, sexuality and identity, and revolution. During the month of September, the readings aired on KONR-LP 106.1 FM at 11AM every weekday, the panel discussions aired every Thursday at 5PM. Listen here!
Week 1 (9/17): Institutional Racism and Oppression
Special Topics: Mat-Su Valley School Board book challenges, When and why books should be dropped from the curriculum, Landscape of censorship in Alaska
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou, 1969 autobiography describing the early years of American writer and poet Maya Angelou. Read by Erin Willahan.
The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien, a collection of linked short stories by American novelist Tim O'Brien, about a platoon of American soldiers fighting on the ground in the Vietnam War. Read by Jade Aldridge.
The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros, a 1984 novel by Mexican-American author Sandra Cisneros. Structured as a series of vignettes. Read by Jade Aldridge.
The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas, Thomas' debut novel, expanded from a short story she wrote in college in reaction to the police shooting of Oscar Grant. Read by Justin Zagorski.
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison, written in 1952. It addresses many of the social and intellectual issues faced by the African Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marxism, and the reformist racial policies of Booker T. Washington, as well as issues of individuality and personal identity. Read by Francesca Du Brock.
unAUTHORized: Institutional Racism and Oppression, a panel discussion. Special Topics: Mat-Su Valley School Board book challenges, When and why books should be dropped from the curriculum, Landscape of censorship in Alaska.
Panelists: Kluonie Frey, Reddington HS English teacher (Mat-Su); Cal Williams, Historian; Itzel Yarger Zagal, Poet, human rights attorney, and Indigenous culture bearer.
Moderator: Meneka Thiru
Air Date: 9/17/20
Week 2 (9/24): Sexuality and Identity
Special Topics: What does unsuited for age group mean? Representation of sexuality in popular media, Representation of gender in popular media.
George, Alex Gino, The novel tells the story of Melissa, a fourth-grade girl who is struggling to be herself to the rest of the world. The rest of the world sees Melissa as George, a boy. Read by Lisa Bricker.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume, Margaret Simon is 11 years old, and struggles with puberty, religion, and the quest for answers. Read by Stacia McGourty.
I am Jazz, Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel, an autobiographical picture book that tells the true story of Jazz Jennings, a transgender child, through a lens of compassion and hope. Read by Laura Carpenter.
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss, Marlon Bundo is the BOTUS (Bunny of the United States), he belongs to the Vice President. One day, Marlon meets Wesley, another boy rabbit and they fall in love. Read by Justin Zagorski.
The Librarian from Basra: A True Story from Iraq, Jeanette Winter, Alia Muhammad Baker is the real-life librarian of Basra, the war is quicklt approaching-- what will happen to the library's 30,000 books? Read by Sherri Douglas.
unAUTHORized: Sexuality and Identity, a panel discussion. Special Topics: What does unsuited for age group mean, Representation of sexuality in popular media, Representation of gender in popular media.
Panelists: Laura Carpenter, Identity; Justin Zagorski, Identity; Candace Blas; Bri Kerbuski, Choosing Our Roots.
Moderator: Stacia McGourty
Air Date: 9/24/20
Week 3 (10/1): Revolution
Special Topics: Censorship and information access in correctional institutions, Revolution in popular media, Civic engagement in Anchorage
Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut, Centering on the firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim goes on a journey through time that reflects the mythic path of our own lives. The novel is among the great anti-war books written. Read by Megan Edge.
The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. Read by Megan Edge.
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov, The devil visits the officially atheistic Soviet Union to throw a hell of a party and chooses Margarita as the host. Read by Indra Arriaga Delgado.
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein, Rothstein argues how segregation in America—the incessant kind that continues to dog our major cities and has contributed to so much recent social strife—is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels. Read by Veri di Suvero.
Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, Heather Ann Thompson, On September 9, 1971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. Holding guards and civilian employees hostage, the prisoners negotiated with officials for improved conditions during the four long days and nights that followed. Read by Jonas Lamb.
unAUTHORized: Revolution, a panel discussion. Special Topics: Censorship and information access in correctional institutions, Revolution in popular media, Civic engagement in Anchorage.
Panelists: Brooke Binkowski, truthorfiction.com, former managing editor at Snopes, researcher, journalist; Megan Edge, ACLU Communications Director.
Moderators: Meneka Thiru and Stacia McGourty
Air Date: 10/1/20