Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Monday, September 23, 2013

It's Banned Books Week!

Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, has been banned since it was first published in 1852, but for different reasons over the years: too political; too offensive; too vulgar. Stowe herself sought to address those who challenged the work in A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (1853) but the controversy continues today, the book even coming in on BuzzFeed's list of "15 Books Banned For The Most Absurd Reasons Ever." So, who decides what we can read and why? What is offensive to one person may not be to another, but once a book is banned, the opportunity for individuals to decide for themselves vanishes.

This week is Banned Books Week, a national celebration of the freedom to read. Launched in 1982, the week "[focuses] on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books...[and] draws national attention to the harms of censorship." (American Library Association) Events and programs across the country will honor contemporary and classic banned books, including CT Humanities and the Center for the Book's BANNED! event on Wednesday, September 25th at the Mark Twain House and Museum. Listen to writers interpret the theme of being banned through songs, diaries, plays, creative writings, and more. To register for the event, visit their Facebook event.

In recognition of Banned Books Week, and thanks to inspiration from our colleagues at the Center for the Book, Stowe Staff took to the pavement to chalk about the banned classic Uncle Tom's Cabin. See photos below of our chalking party last week and the great depictions and interpretations of Stowe and her novel!

We hope you will also read about our September 2010 Salon Banned Books: Who Decides? for information about Stowe and Twain as banned authors resources about taking action on banned books.

Do you read banned books? Share your favorite banned book in the comments section below!

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