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Proceeds from the shirt, as worn by LeVar Burton, Ariana DeBose, Margaret Atwood, Maia Kobabe, W. Kamau Bell, Josh Malina, and Ann Patchett , Adina Porter, Baratunde Thurston, available at LeVarSaysRead.com will fund ongoing efforts to distribute free banned books and fight censorship.
Washington, D.C. – Today MoveOn Political Action and LeVar Burton announced the release of a new original T-shirt for sale in support of their collaboration fighting book bans at the start of National Banned Book Week. The limited-edition Read Banned Books shirt features the likeness of the lifetime literacy champion LeVar Burton and is for sale here. The shirt will fund MoveOn’s Banned Bookmobile and other efforts to curb book bans.
Said Burton, former host of the PBS series “Reading Rainbow” and executive producer of the 2023 documentary “The Right to Read,” “Librarians and teachers across the country have done amazing work bringing thoughtful, diverse, important, engaging books to their shelves and their classrooms. Now, I’m afraid current and future generations won’t be so fortunate. I’m concerned for teachers and librarians who feel they can’t do the job they love.”
He continued, “It is shameful that closed-minded officials are now censoring the books our country once celebrated. I’m honored to help inspire people of all ages to speak out against this dangerous form of censorship during Banned Books Week and all year around. The power and joy of reading cannot be taken away from us.”
“Book bans are restrictive, exclusionary, and prehistoric,” said MoveOn Political Action Executive Director Rahna Epting. “The vast majority of Americans support the freedom to read, to learn, and to get lost in a good book. We refuse to allow extremists to take us backward. MoveOn is proud to be on the front lines with the legendary LeVar Burton as we further catalyze a movement against book bans. Together, we’ll build a future where everyone can see themselves in the pages of a book.”
This is the latest collaboration between Burton and MoveOn. As covered in The Hollywood Reporter, the duo launched an open letter with nearly 175 creative leaders/celebs denouncing the rising wave of book bans across the country at www.ArtistsAgainstBookBans.com
The uptick in challenges, restrictions, and bans of books and curricula related to gender, sexuality, race, and multicultural history continues. A new report from the free speech group PEN America found that school book bans and restrictions in the U.S. rose 33% in the last school year. As extremists continue to remove and restrict access to books – or in the case of Missouri lawmakers, symbolically burn them – MoveOn will be headed on the road again distributing free banned books with its Banned Bookmobile in October. Starting during the national Banned Books Week, October 1-7, the tour will include events and author readings in states like Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, as well as stops in conjunction with Crooked Media’s live “Pod Save America” and “Lovett or Leave It” podcast show events.
For more information about the Banned Bookmobile events, please contact email@example.com.
MoveOn is a people-powered force for progress. MoveOn mobilizes the left to elect Democrats and enact progressive change. We are the homebase for millions of members who refuse to accept the status quo and are moved to take action. For more than a generation, MoveOn has been a bulwark against the radical right, channeling our voices to end wars, protect democracy, and advance justice for all.