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Books that have been placed on the dark side of the literary world are about to get some light and the Memphis Public Library is celebrating in a big way.

Banned Books Week, an event that celebrates the freedom to read, highlights books that have been restricted and removed from the shelves for various reasons. The week has been observed nationally for 30 years, and one way the Memphis Public Library plans to promote awareness is by holding a read-out, providing an opportunity for people to celebrate the freedom to read!

People of all ages are encouraged to come read excerpts from there favorite banned books out loud. There will be a microphone and podium provided so these hushed literary works can be heard loud and clear!

Community leaders, teachers, and booksellers are also urged to participate to help support the idea of literary freedom.

During the read-out, the library will also be showing pre-recorded clips of other prominent people in the city reading excerpts from other banned books.

Some of the readers include:

  • Jerry Hollingsworth- Author, Wings of Justice
  • Steve Bradshaw- Author, The Two Agreements
  • Lucy Shaw- Author, Be Not Anxious
  • Courtney Santo- Author, Roots of the Olive Tree
  • Miriam Decosta-Willis- Author, Black Memphis Landmarks
  • Keenon McCloy - Director of Memphis Public Libraries

The Read-Out will be held on Wednesday, October 3rd from 3pm-5pm presented by the Humanities Department in the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. Those who wish to participate have the option of bringing their own book or selecting one from the library's collection.

Select copies of banned books will be sold in Second Editions Bookstore.

And to help illustrate the point, students from Overton High School's drama department will be present on Saturday, October 6 from 11 am - 2:30 pm dressed as mimes.

Be sure to come out and support Banned Books Week by giving these books a voice! We hope to see you there.