Monday, September 20, 2010


ALBANY—This fall, the Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union will host events in Albany and Troy that celebrate Americans’ cherished freedom to express ideas and opinions, even if they are unorthodox or unpopular.

The Albany “Read Out” event will be held at the Upstate Artists Guild Gallery at 247 Lark Street on Saturday, Oct. 2 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 24 the chapter will host a “Read Out” event during the Troy Night Out celebration from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 260 Broadway, corner of Third and Broadway in downtown Troy.

Each year these “Read Out” events bring together well known local writers and media personalities to read from their favorite banned and challenged books. This year’s roster includes: Frankie Bailey, author of mystery novels and non-fiction histories, including Wicked Albany: Lawlessness and Liquor in the Prohibition Era; Diane Cameron, Albany writer and teacher whose columns appear in the Times Union; Joe Donahue, host of WAMC’s daily Roundtable program; Libby Post, founding chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda and frequent media commentator; and Dan Wilcox, poet and peace activist who has hosted regular “open mic” poetry events at the Social Justice Center since 1997.

Books are banned or challenged every year in communities across the nation for any number of reasons. Here’s a small sampling of books that have been banned or challenged in the U.S. during the past decade: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; The Color Purple by Alice Walker; Beloved and Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison; Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov; Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut; Sophie’s Choice by William Styron; and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien.

Banned Books Week has been celebrated each year since 1982. It is sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Association of American Publishers, and the National Association of College Stores. It is also endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.
The NYCLU Capital Region Chapter is the local branch of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which is the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union. The Capital Region Chapter serves eight counties: Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington.

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