Despite efforts to keep a new generation of students from a transformative encounter with Morrison’s work, The Bluest Eye remains relevant and reflective of American society over 50 years after its original publication in 1970. This cultural relevance is the reason why it maintains its place on recommended reading lists for Advanced Placement assessments across the country. It is why the novel still brings me to tears, and still has important things to teach us about reckoning with racialized concepts like beauty and gender, and how ugliness renders one invisible.
Since the First Amendments protects individuals from censorship from the government, not from private companies, it seems unlikely any of these laws will be around for long. Instead, these laws act as a rallying cry for Republicans to galvanize their base as “Big Tech” bias against conservatives is emerging as a top issue for the 2022 midterm elections.