Banned Books Week: Charles Brownstein Talks CBLDF with Project Censored

September 25, 2013
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banned comicsCBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein joined the hosts of KPFA’s Project Censored, a weekly radio show out of Berkeley, California, that focuses on censorship issues around the nation. Last Friday’s show was dedicated to Banned Books Week.

The full episode description from Project Censored:

Banned Books Week Special on the Project Censored Show on Pacifica’s Free Speech Radio. Join hosts Mickey Huff  and Peter Phillips in conversation with Barbara Jones, Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation of the American Library Association about this year’s BBW; then hear from students on the front lines of banned books from Hadley Junior High School and Lane Tech to discuss  the banning of On the Perks of Being a Wallflower and the 451 club; the BBW special continues with Michael O’Neil of the National Coalition Against Censorship and concludes with Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. We hope you join us and spread the word as books (as well as news stories) really ARE banned in the US of A! Tune in 94.1 FM in Berkeley, CA, online at http://kpfa.org/ each Friday morning 8-9 Pacific time.

Brownstein joined the show about three quarters through the episode. Brownstein spoke to how comics rely on static images, making it easier for readers to take content out of context. During the show, Brownstein also spoke about the importance of comic books and how they were censored:

The history of comics is entwined with censorship because of moral panic and it’s hard to believe now, but back in the 1950s there were actual Senate subcommitte hearings on the content of horror comics and crime comics and there were actual laws passed across the United States that were impeding the sale and distribution of these comics. And just like the censors of video games say today, it’s ostensibly to protect the children but the bottom line is that the kids are alright. Kids are oftentimes…kids are their own best guides for what they’re ready for and what they’re not ready for…Comic books, as a form of new media, provide tools that engage readers of all ages, but they were censored.

You can listen to the entire show here.

CBLDF is a sponsor of Banned Books Week. Please help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by making a donation or becoming a member of the CBLDF!