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What's the Deal?

With Ali Velshi's Banned Book Club

MSBNC host Ali Velshi founded his #VelshiBannedBookClub in February 2022, in response to the increasingly widespread practice of schools and libraries prohibiting readers — especially young readers — from accessing books that adults believe would make these readers uncomfortable.

These books include such literary classics as William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, contemporary tomes such as Alex Gino’s Melissa and Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist, and illustrated children’s books, New Kid and I Am Rosa Parks. Sadly, the list is way too long to include.

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Velshi and Spiegelman discuss Maus

Listen: Ali Velshi Banned Book Club with Art Spiegelman

The MSNBC host speaks with the cartoonist about his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus, depicting his father's experience during and beyond the Holocaust

Listen: Ali Velshi Banned Book Club with Art Spiegelman

The MSNBC host speaks with the cartoonist about his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel Maus, depicting his father's experience during and beyond the Holocaust

Cartoonist Art Spiegelman speaks with Ali Velshi about MausSpiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel detailing his father’s survival through and trauma from the Holocaust. In the tradition of 1930s cartoons depicting minorities as animals, Maus depicts Jews as mice and Nazis as cats.

Spiegelman never intended children as the main audience for his graphic novel. But, having shown up in library bookshelves in schools across the country, Maus became familiar to a wide variety of ages — and, not long thereafter, a victim of book banning.  For the past year, Spiegelman’s main occupation has been to speak to audiences about not just the message of Maus, but also the phenomenon of banning speech. 

The main victims of book banning are the people who’ve done things about race and about gender,” he says, “I have taken great pains to expand [the conversation] from Maus, to talk about all the other book bannings going on.”

Listen to Ali’s interview with Art Spiegelman:

 

Watch Velshi and Spiegelman: 

 

 

Velshi on banned books on MSNBC:

 

MORE ON BANNED BOOKS FROM THE CITIZEN

 

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