Responding to the “Invisible Man” Challenge and Ban in North Carolina

Banned Books Week, Censorship

Ralph EllisonThe ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom has sent a letter to the Board of Education of Randolph County, NC, concerning its recent ban of Ralph Ellison’s classic Invisible Man from school library shelves.  You can read local coverage of the letter here

The letter urges the board to reverse its decision to remove the book, citing constitutional concerns, the importance of having a broad range of materials that represent a diversity of views in school libraries, and the centrality of the freedom to read in helping develop thoughtful citizens.

The school board will be reconsidering the ban at tomorrow’s board meeting.

See the PDF of the full letter here.

Update: In another response to the school board’s action, a former Randolph County resident, Evan Smith Rakoff, teamed up with’s Laura Miller and Books a Million to provide free copies of Invisible Man to county high school students.

Update 2: On Wednesday, September 25, the Board of Education rescinded the book ban following a short special hearing.

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