The Randolph County School Board in North Carolina got a jump on Banned Books Week (Sept. 22-28), when earlier this month it banished Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel “Invisible Man” from its public schools. According to news reports, the book’s removal resulted from one protesting parent — one — who felt the book was “too much for teenagers.”
“You must respect all religions and point of views when it comes to the parents and what they feel is age appropriate for their young children to read, without their knowledge,” parent Kimiyutta Parson wrote to the board, which voted 5-2 on Sept. 16 to ban the book, one of three options on Randleman High School juniors’ summer reading list.
Ten days later, in the glare of a national media spotlight, the board reversed its decision during a special meeting, voting 6-1 to keep the book on the library shelves. Closer to home, the ban had been opposed by the Randolph County chapter of the NAACP, and a local book store distributed free copies of the book to high schoolers.
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