Two reports this week show the United States is facing an unprecedented wave of school book banning — spurring Congress to hold a hearing Thursday focused on the issue, which free-speech advocates warn will undermine democracy.
PEN America, a nonprofit that advocates for freedom of expression, found there have been 1,586 book bans in schools over the past nine months.
The bans targeted 1,145 unique books by more than 800 authors, and a plurality of the books — 41 percent — featured prominent characters who are people of color.
Thirty-three percent of the banned books, meanwhile, included LGBTQ themes, protagonists or strong secondary characters, and 22 percent “directly address issues of race and racism.”
Movie fans spent Sunday night mourning the death of William Hurt — and celebrating his remarkable career.
The Oscar-winning actor, cemented into film history for roles in “Broadcast News,” “Body Heat,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “The Big Chill,” among others, died March 13 at 71.
“It is with great sadness that the Hurt family mourns the passing of William Hurt, beloved father and Oscar winning actor, on March 13, 2022, one week before his 72nd birthday,” his son Will said in a statement obtained by Deadline and reported by other outlets. “He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time.”
By 1939, parts of Czechoslovakia had already been carved off and taken over by Nazi Germany, which claimed that millions of ethnic Germans were being persecuted there.
The previous September, European powers, seeking to avoid war, had acquiesced and done nothing.But six months later, German troops were massed on the Czech border, as Nazi leader Adolf Hitler railed and threatened the country with destruction.
On March 15, 1939, the sickly Czech president, Emil Hacha, was in Hitler’s study surrounded by the Führer’s henchmen.
“Hitler was at his most intimidating,” historian Ian Kershaw wrote in his 2000 biography of the Nazi leader. “He launched into a violent tirade against the Czechs.” The Nazis needed to take over Czechoslovakia to protect Germany. Hacha must agree or his country would be immediately attacked and Prague, its capital, bombed.