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The American Library Association with Tracie Hall

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Tracie Hall

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Tracie Hall, executive director of the American Library Association. In February 2020, Hall became the first African American woman to be executive director.

Hall is 10th executive director and 24th chief staff officer of the 146-year-old association. The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries.

Hall talks about the history of book bans from the McCarthy era and beyond; how threats to the freedom to read harm local communities, especially BIPOC and the working class, and how parents and patrons can push back on bans.

John L. Hanson is the producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio series In Black America. It’s heard on home station KUT Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m., as well as weekly on close to 20 stations across the country. The weekly podcast of IBA, the only nationally broadcast black-oriented public affairs radio program, is one of KUT’s most popular podcasts.
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