Dem 51
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GOP 49
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This Week in Freudenfreude: Book Bans, The Final Frontier

This item is a pretty good complement to the one above, because it also involves something that Ron DeSantis likes to ban, namely books. As an added bonus, it involved a cast member of Star Trek: The Next Generation. We know we have many TNG fans among the readership, including at least one who runs their own Trek-themed site.

The cast member in question is LeVar Burton, who has had two very different careers. The first, of course, is as an actor. He is surely best known as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge, on TNG and its various movies and spinoffs. However, readers who have been watching TV for quite a while will probably also remember him as Kunta Kinte on the wildly successful TV miniseries Roots.

Burton has also been a prominent advocate for reading and books. For a couple of decades plus, that meant writing his own children's books, and also hosting Reading Rainbow, wherein he and the supporting cast chose a book to focus on for each episode, and then talked about the issues the book raises, in a manner appropriate to, roughly, ages 6-10.

Burton's new project, as we note, is trying to push back against book bans. To that end, last month he served as honorary chair of Banned Books Week. This month, he is hosting the National Book Awards for the second time, and will use that platform to talk about the cause. In addition, MoveOn is selling a Burton-themed t-shirt, with the proceeds going to bookmobiles (which, since they are privately funded, don't have to adhere to state dictums). Here's the shirt, if you are interested:

It says: 'LeVar Burton
says: 'Read Banned Books'.

If you wish to get one of your very own, they are here.

If you want to know a bit more, Esquire had a pretty good interview with Burton earlier this week. Meanwhile, since we already made one silly Trek joke in the headline, we won't subject you to another one here. We'll just give a tip of the dust jacket to Burton. (Z)

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