Dec 8, 2021 • 28M

Out of Darkness, Into the Fire

Why is a 2015 book about segregation suddenly being banned throughout Texas?

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Amna Khalid
Banished is a show about our reassessment of the many people, ideas, objects and even works of art that conflict with modern sensibilities. What can we learn about our present obsession with cancel culture by examining history, and what might it mean for freedom of expression? And how do we reconcile opposing points of view without turning on each other? For subscriber-only content, visit
Episode details

Author and professor Ashley Hope Pérez gained prominence for her novel Out of Darkness, which explores themes of segregation, love and family against the backdrop of the 1937 New London School explosion. The book won rave reviews from critics and the Américas Award from the Library of Congress, but has recently become embroiled in controversy after calls to ban it from school libraries. Today on Banished, host Amna Khalid speaks with Pérez about the firestorm surrounding her book, and the rise in concerted efforts from a certain part of the political spectrum to censor literature that might highlight the troubling history of gender and race relations in the United States.