The Phil Johnson Library at Resource Center Dallas marked Banned Books Week with a reading of material banned from libraries.
Librarian Sandy Swann noted that books are still being banned. Just this week, the Beaumont library and school systems banned the book “Friday Night Lights.” In the book upon which the NBC show is based, the quarterback breaks his back and is unable to walk again, not the image we want to portray of Texas high school football.
Rafael McDonnell read three poems by Walt Whitman including “We Two Boys Together Clinging.” Another reader read the Alan Ginsburg poem “Howl. He noted that this work was upheld as not obscene by the U.S. Supreme Court but the ruling forbids it from being aired on radio at anytime other than midnight to 6 a.m. That ruling still holds.
I read the number one banned book in the country, “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. This threat to marriage as it has existed since biblical times is about two male penguins who build a nest together and hatch an egg in the Central Park Zoo in New York.
Of the top 10 banned books, three have LGBT content. In addition to “Tango,” “Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding” are listed. “Tango” has been number one for three years, according to Swann. Surprisingly, “Heather Has Two Mommies” is no longer in the top 10.
Other notable banned books include the Harry Potter series, Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “It’s Perfectly Normal,” challenged for daring to imply that being gay or lesbian is normal. Another gay favorite on the list is “Wicked.”
Also in Phil Johnson Library news: The will hold their annual book sale on Oct. 9-10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Resource Center with bargain prices on books, VHS tapes, DVDs and CDs.
— David Taffet