Author George M. Johnson Returns to Library for Banned Books Week

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Author George M. Johnson Returns to Library for Banned Books Week

DC Public Library Plans Week of Screenings, Discussions and Events Promoting Awareness of Book Censorship


On September 23, George M. Johnson, author, activist and honorary chair of Banned Books Week, will return to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library to discuss “All Boys Aren’t Blue.” Johnson’s conversation is part of DC Public Library’s “Banned Books Week” celebration. 

Since its release in 2020, Johnson’s memoir has become one of the country’s most banned library books. It is one of the nearly 1,600 challenges to books offered at libraries and schools in 2021 according to the American Library Association.


"You can't talk about the book bans outside of what is happening politically," said George M. Johnson. "It's not just about parents' rights now that governors are involved, senators are involved, and laws are being enacted. There's also a reason that there aren't as many white books on the list nor as many white queer books on the list, so it's something that needs to be discussed."

The DC Public Library will recognize “Banned Books Week” with special programs and activities from September 19 through September 24. Events include:

Sept. 19

Discussion: Banned Books and Cancel Culture
6:30 pm
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Explore the impact of banned books and cancel culture on the development and exchange of ideas with Panama Jackson, award-winning writer, author and columnist, and Stephen A. Crockett, Jr., Opinion Editor at HuffPost.

Sept. 21

The Hate U Give: Film Screening and Panel
4 pm
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Angie Thomas' award-winning novel on police brutality, systemic racism, and the Black Lives Matter movement, was one of 2021’s most-challenged books. Teens and Young Adults are invited to a Special Screening of  the film adaptation of “The Hate U Give.'' Following the screening, participate in a conversation with Soyica Diggs Colbert, Idol Family Professor of African American and Performing Arts at Georgetown University, Linda K. Harllee Harper Director of the District’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention, Amena Johnson, Nonprofit Leader and Educator and Eric C. Peterson, Facilitator and Educator.

Author Talk: David Levithan and Amy Sarig King
6:30 pm
Cleveland Park Library
David Levithan, author of "Answers in the Pages," and Amy Sarig King, author of the forthcoming “Attack of the Black Rectangles,” will discuss their new books which take on the issue of censorship. 

Sept. 22

The Meaning of Toni Panel Discussion
7 pm
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
A dynamic panel of Morrison scholars, including Dr. Dana Williams, AJ Verdelle, Dr. Evelyn Schreiber, and Dr. Angelyn Mitchell will discuss their relationship with Morrison and the movement to silence her work in today's banned book campaigns. There will also be an opening performance by musical performer Tamara Jade.

Sept. 24

Let's Get Organized: Fighting Book Bans Together
1 pm
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
National Book Award–honored author Kyle Lukoff (Too Bright to See, 2021 Young People’s Literature Finalist), Joanna Harris, DC Public Library Teen Services Coordinator, and Nadine Farid Johnson, Managing Director of PEN America Washington and Free Expression Programs sit down to discuss the value of writing, publishing, and access to diverse books, and how people can unite against book banning.

To learn more about the Library’s plans for Banned Books Week, visit