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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

10 Black Books You May Not Have Known Were Banned or Challenged

book native

Native Son, Richard Wright, 1940

Richard Wright’s landmark novel, according to pbs.org, “paints a brutal picture of a young, poor Black man, 20-year-old Bigger Thomas, incited to murder by the oppression and hatred of the white world. It explores inequality, racial conflict, and Wright’s belief at the time that Communism was Black Americans’ best hope for equality.”

The book has been challenged or removed in at least eight different states because of objections to “violent and sexually graphic” content.

Some of the cases where “Native Son” was banned or challenged:

**1978: Challenged in Elmwood Park, N.J.,  because of  ”objectionable” language.

**1981: Challenged in North Adams, Mass., because of the book’s “violence, sex, and profanity.”

**1988: Challenged at the Berrian Springs, Mich., High School in classrooms and libraries because the novel was deemed “vulgar, profane, and sexually explicit.”

**1998: Removed from Irvington High School in Fremont, Calif., after parents complained the book was unnecessarily violent and sexually explicit.

**1998: Challenged in the Hamilton High School curriculum in Fort Wayne, Ind., because of the novel’s graphic language and sexual content.

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Comments

  1. Sundiata Keita says:

    gotta check out the invisible man. im not feeling toni morrison tho. the movies made about them come across as demonic and perverse.

  2. Jacqueline McGee Smith says:

    They are lyrical and soul wrenching. Try 'Jazz' first if you just want to dip a toe in.

  3. Sundiata Keita says:

    Jacqueline McGee Smith thank you

  4. Annie Kitchin says:

    Sundiata, what on earth do you mean by "demonic"? And what precisely is "perverse" in ANY of Toni Morrison's books?

  5. Sundiata Keita says:

    Annie Kitchin i'll answer your question just as soon as you let me know who you are for me to be answering you?
    are you the president or something? baby jesus? tell me which category you fall in?

  6. Sundiata Keita says:

    Annie Kitchin also, learn some reading comprehension cause youre lacking.

  7. You can't judge a book by the movie made from it. An adaptation is just not the same. There are too many things shown out of context. I've never seen the movies for these, but I read the books in my early teens. Are they raw? Yes, no sugar coating here, but neither demonic nor perverse.

  8. Note to Black people and any other oppressed peoples. If the oppressor don't want you reading a book, please take special care to make sure that you DO read it. That is all.

  9. Toni Morrison is The Worksmith Master, not reading her work is robbing yourself of literature like no other.

  10. If reading is fundamental, what are they attempting to take from you by banning a book. Must be a piece of information that you need to know to free you from ignorance. Well, "you must know the truth, so the truth can set you free"… never truer words! If they tell you do not read it, you better read it twice, so as to not miss out what they are clearly attempting to withhold from you!

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