Millsaps College is scheduled to host its very first Banned Books Festival in response to numerous literary pieces that have been prohibited from public school libraries due to the content of the works.
During the 2022 legislative session, Governor Tate Reeves signed Senate Bill 2113 into law with the goal of banning the teaching of critical race theory in Mississippi schools.
Though the legislation did not clearly define CRT, it stated that school districts, charter schools, and public institutions of higher learning cannot teach “that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion or nationality is inherently superior or inferior.”
As a result, some public libraries in the state were in jeopardy of losing city funding due to the presence of books containing LGBTQ+ material, sensitive topics involving race, and sexually mature content in the children’s section.
The event will serve to pay tribute to books that have been removed from public spaces despite an argument that they serve educational and informative purposes.
Kicking off the festival will be popular Mississippi cartoonist Marshall Ramsey interviewing author Rick Bragg, whose book, All Over but the Shoutin‘, has been banned in certain areas.
Angie Thomas, the author of the book, The Hate U Give, one of the most banned in the nation, will also be speaking at the event.
Investigative reporter Julie K. Brown, who exposed the truth about Jeffrey Epstein, will discuss her Erasing Truth.
Speakers will address topics of books that have been banned such as racial justice and injustice, documenting events through investigative reporting, and navigating through troubling times in life through a memoir.
The festival will be held on Saturday, March 25 at 9 a.m. at the James and Madeleine McMullan Lecture Hall, Room 122 of the Richard and Selby McRae Christian Center