First, we had the Texas school system moving to strike the term “Transatlantic Slave Trade” from history textbooks.
And now the Randolph County, North Carolina school board bans Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man with one of the board members saying that he “didn’t find any literary value” in the book?
Congratulations, Brother Ellison! In addition to winning a National Book Award in 1953 for your novel, you can now be credited with writing a self-fulfilling prophesy!
While we’re on the topic, check what Ellison said after winning his National Book Award and asking himself a hypothetical question about his book’s value:
I was to dream of a prose which was flexible, and swift as American change is swift, confronting the inequalities and brutalities of our society forthrightly, but yet thrusting forth its images of hope, human fraternity, and individual self-realization.
Those words remain relevant in 2013.
If we want to use vulgar language or actions to be the trigger for banning books, the Classics shelf in most school libraries would be bare.
Not that the process for banning classics hasn’t already started…
song currently stuck in my head: “skylark” – aretha franklin