100-Year-Old “Mother of Liberty” Flays Florida School Board Over Book Bans

A 100-year-old widow, whose husband died fighting Nazis in World War II, delivered a rousing speech against book bans at a school board meeting in Martin County, Florida this week. It was an address that those in attendance won’t soon forget. 

The barn burner was delivered by Grace Linn, a self-described “mother of liberty.” You can watch it here.  

“The freedom to read, which is protected by the First Amendment, is our essential right and duty of our democracy. Even so, it is continually under attack by both the public and private groups who think they hold the truth,” Linn told the board after recounting her husband's heroism.

A quilt, handmade by Linn, was held up and shown to the audience. It featured books that were banned or in danger of being taken off of shelves.

“Banning books and burning books are the same,” Linn continued. “Both are done for the same reason: fear of knowledge. Fear is not freedom. Fear is not liberty. Fear is control… Banned books need to be proudly displayed and protected from school boards like this.”

Nearly 100 books have been removed from Martin County school shelves under a new state law that requires school boards to regularly review and remove books for certain sexually explicit or race-based material. 

In recent years, literary censorship has divided communities from Martin County to Burbank, California. According to the American Library Association, book bans in the U.S. have reached a 20-year high.


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Thursday, March 28, 2024 - 09:07

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