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Crosscurrents
Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 11 a.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Listen to full episodes at kalw.org/crosscurrents

Book banning and library censorship in the Bay and beyond

Jennifer Wolf, Senior Lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Education
Jennifer Wolf
Jennifer Wolf, Senior Lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Education

There has been a rise in censorship of American public schools and libraries.

In many states, districts are banning books that they say contain sensitive or political content. Groups like the NAACP have slammed these campaigns as being part of an anti-Black literature trend pushed by groups engaged in erasing Critical Race Theory from history books. Human Rights Watch and LGBTQ+ groups like the Human Rights Campaign released a list of queer affirming books in response.

Even California isn’t as immune to censorship as we may think. In 2020 Burbank banned books like To Kill a Mockingbird. And just this past June, the Proud Boys attacked the San Lorenzo library for having “Drag Queen Story Hour.”

Jennifer Wolf is following all of this. She teaches at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Hana spoke with her to better understand these current trends, and where she thinks they’ll lead.

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Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.