From religious texts and anti-slavery novels to modern works removed from school libraries, here’s how the targets of censorship have changed over the years.
By Erin Blakemore, Published September 6, 2022
Mark Twain. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Judy Blume. William Shakespeare. These names share something more than a legacy of classic literature and a place on school curriculums: They’re just some of the many authors whose work has been banned from classrooms over the years for content deemed controversial, obscene, or otherwise objectionable by authorities.
Book banning is once again in the headlines. Earlier this year, Utah approved a state law suppressing “sensitive material” in classrooms. Meanwhile, a group of Georgia moms have gotten attention for attending school board meetings and reading passages out loud from books they find objectionable, such as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, claiming they are “pornographic materials.” (Did Ovid’s erotic poetry lead to his exile from Rome?)
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