A Fairfax County, Va mother is trying to get an American classic banned from her son's high school reading list. The book she wished to ban is Beloved by Toni Morrison.
Unlike what movies and Hollywood would have you believe, there was nothing pretty or romantic about slavery. It was brutal, inhumane, and the darkest stain on the American spirit.
A book like Beloved is one of the only novels that accurately depicts how inhumane the practice of American slavery was. Instead of shielding such a book from our children, we should want them to read more about the horrors of our past.
I wonder if she feels the same way about Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn or the Diary of Anne Frank?
Via Washington Post:
The book Laura Murphy wants removed from Fairfax County classrooms is considered a modern American classic. It is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a masterpiece of fiction whose author’s 1993 Nobel Prize in literature citation said that she, “in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”
But Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” Murphy said, depicts scenes of bestiality, gang rape and an infant’s gruesome murder, content she believes could be too intense for teenage readers.
“It’s not about the author or the awards,” said Murphy, a mother of four whose eldest son had nightmares after reading “Beloved” for his senior-year Advanced Placement English class. “It’s about the content.”
The Fairfax County School Board voted Thursday against hearing Murphy’s challenge, but she vowed to continue her quest. She said she plans to take her complaint to the Virginia Board of Education, where she will lobby for policies that will give parents more control over what their children read in class.
The Murphy case raises complex questions about constitutional rights, academic freedom and the preservation of childhood innocence. It’s mainly for those reasons that book challenges have been the subject of controversy for decades.
A Lake Braddock Secondary School Parent-Teacher-Student Association member, Murphy, 45, has been seeking for six months to have “Beloved” banned until new policies are adopted for books assigned for class that might have objectionable material.
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