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Cover Story: Events help celebrate Intellectual Freedom Week

By Jeffrey Hillard · September 23rd, 1999 · Cover Story
  Nikki Giovanni
Nikki Giovanni

Cincinnati native Nikki Giovanni, whose books of poetry have been targets of censorship, will read and discuss her work as part of "Free People Read Freely," two events helping to celebrate Intellectual Freedom Week in Cincinnati Sept. 25-Oct. 2.

Giovanni, whose poetry collection My House has been among the 50 most frequently banned titles in the United States in recent years, will read from her current book, Blues for All the Changes, at 1 p.m.

Saturday at Joeseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood. She will also read from earlier works and discuss her status as a censored author.

The week's other main event is a series of readings of banned work by prominent local people involved in the struggle for intellectual freedom. Participants include Ralph Adams, a teacher at Felicity-Franklin High School who was removed from teaching his Government class after he objected to the school's decision to have clergy lead prayers at graduation ceremonies despite the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling against such church-state mixing; Allen Brown, the legendary civil rights defender and attorney; Richard Ganulin, assistant solicitor for the city of Cincinnati who has been involved in several controversial cases of religious displays on Fountain Square; LaVaughn Daniel, a Finneytown High School graduate who was a 1999 Golden Galaxy award winner; former U.S. Congressman and Cincinnati City Council member Tom Luken; and many others. The readings will be held at 7-9 p.m. Monday at Joseph-Beth.

Both "Free People Reading Freely" events, sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), are free and open to the public. Intellectual Freedom Week, proclaimed by Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls, is sponsored by the Campaign Against Censorship in the Arts (CACA) and is held as part of National Banned Books Week.

For more information, contact CACA at 221-3686 or ACLU at 929-4834 or 569-1679.



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