Christopher Noxon’s Book Was Banned and He’s Horrified and Honored.
Author and Illustrator Christopher Noxon was surprised when his illustrated book about civil rights, Good Trouble: Lessons from the Civil Rights Playbook turned up on a banned book list in Virginia Beach schools recently.
Noxon, a Reboot board member, said the book has many Jewish ideas and wrote in an opinion piece in the LA Times that it is confounding that anyone would consider the content to be offensive. He writes in the LA Times piece, “the only specific objection to “Good Trouble” raised so far relates to an illustration in the opening chapter of activists at the National Policy Institute giving a Nazi salute celebrating the election of Donald Trump. Divisive? Surely — also factual.”
When we reached out to discuss it, he gave us some context for the book and the Jewish influences that shaped it.
“I’m a new Jew, a choosing Jew, by which I mean I’m a convert. I made the leap in 2015, long after it would’ve made anything easier for myself or my kids. Still, the learning and reflecting and hobnobbing that comes with conversion – especially the ad-hoc, deeply questioning path I took with help of my Reboot friends – made a mammoth, even seismic impact,” Noxon said. “Shortly after conversion I started drawing and painting like a fiend and began work on an illustrated book about civil rights, Good Trouble: Lessons from the Civil Rights Playbook.”
It’s a book about putting faith into action. It’s about opening oneself to wisdom and community to overcome oppression and work toward Dr. King’s Beloved Community. In other words, it’s about living Jewishly. It’s scary and outrageous that anyone would want to BAN a book about these ideas, but of course being listed alongside Toni Morrison’s 'Bluest Eye' in a list of six ‘pornographic’ and ‘divisive’ works is a great honor. It’s awful/amazing! Terrifying/terrific! In other words, it feels very Jewish.
Find more about Christopher Noxon and his work here.