For Azkbanned Books Week 2018, #DAFightsBack is celebrating frequently banned and challenged books that tell the stories of immigrant and refugee communities!
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is frequently challenged despite its important role as a first-hand account of what Anne and her family endured as Jewish people hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Anne Frank's story didn't have to end in Nazi-occupied Holland - but her family was denied refugee status by the United States when they tried to flee in 1941.
Today, the U.S. and other parts of the world are struggling with a growing resurgence of Nazism and white supremacist hate groups, and just last week, the U.S. State Department announced that they will only admit 30,000 refugees this year. Anne Frank's story must be told and remembered as we fight back against hate.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini tells the story of an Afghani boy and his father. Set against the backdrop of the Soviet-Afghan War in 1979 and continuing through the rise of the Taliban, the story follows Amir as he becomes part of an exodus of refugees. He travels first to Pakistan, then California, before returning briefly to a changed Afghanistan. Hosseini's book has been frequently challenged for its depiction of violence and same sex rape, as well as use of vulgar language. In 2018, we know the importance of documenting violence and sharing stories of sexual assault - only when we listen can we hope to make change.
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri tells the story of Gogol, a first generation American, and his Bengali parents. It highlights the tension that many immigrant families feel as parents try to maintain their culture and traditions and their children try to grow up and fit in in a country very different from their own.
During Azkabanned Books Week, we're celebrating the stories of immigrants and refugees because creating diverse communities with rich cultural tapestries enriches everyone's lives. What story does your family tell about immigration, culture, and traditions?