By ACLU News, April 11, 2022
Book bans are nothing new.
Throughout history, certain books have come under fire for content deemed inappropriate or controversial — often, that content is by and about people of color, the LGBTQ community, and other marginalized groups.
As a spate of classroom censorship bills aim to erase discussions about race and gender in schools across the country, books about the same issues are being banned and challenged across public schools and libraries at an alarming rate.
Read about some of the books that have most recently been banned or challenged for removal across public schools and libraries in our ‘ACLU Banned Book Club Reading List’ below.
NOTE: The following list includes books that have been formally removed or were recently challenged for removal from public schools or libraries.
1. “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison
Published in 1970, “The Bluest Eye” was Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison’s first novel. Its 11-year-old protagonist, Pecola Breedlove, copes with racism and sexual abuse as she comes of age in 1940s Ohio. Despite its status as a seminal work by one of the foremost authors in American history, the book has been a frequent target of bans for content described as “sexually explicit material,” “disturbing language,” and an “underlying socialist-communist agenda.”
“The Bluest Eye” is one of the books at the center of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Missouri in February against Wentzville R-IV School District. The school district reversed its decision to ban the book shortly after the lawsuit filing, but litigation continues. Other recent challenges to the book have occurred in Mississippi, where Mayor Gene McGee of Ridgeland attempted to withhold over $100,000 in public funds from the Madison County Library System unless it purged it and other specific books, and in Virginia, where a school board in Virginia Beach removed the book from circulation, only to return it to shelves shortly after due to public outcry.
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…