Book banning and censorship in the United States has a sordid and persistent history. Often based on white Christian Nationalistic values, books dealing with slavery, gender identity, sexuality, disabilities, the Holocaust, mental illness, racism, and non-Christian religions including Judaism are continually challenged and banned from our libraries and schools. And unfortunately, this type of censorship is on the rise. According to the American Library Association, individual book challenges increased markedly in the last few years, from approximately 300 book challenges in 2015 to over 1,600 in 2022.
We discuss this important issue with two grassroots reading rights activists and experts on the ground in Michigan and Florida: Hilery Cash and Raegan Miller. Hilery Cash was a Michigan School Librarian for 38 years in both urban and suburban cities and is now an activist. Raegan Miller is the Director of Development and Finance at Florida Freedom To Read Project. They were interviewed by Katie Reiter, JFASD National Coordinator, and Paul Golin of the Society for Humanistic Judaism.