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.
Wentzville, MO received multiple book challenges in Fall 2021. These books, including The Bluest Eye, were removed by the School Board. By February 2022, students filed a class action lawsuit in federal court against their school for violating their civil rights through book banning. That very same day, the School Board voted 7-0 to return one of the books to the shelves and the challenger withdrew at least two of their other challenges.
Texas Republican Representative Matt Krause is investigating books that “might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress.” The irony here, Philip Bump points out, is that all this fervor over books that create “discomfort” in teens and tweens comes on the heels of conservatives claiming censorship and “cancel culture” when Dr. Seuss Enterprises ceased publication of six books that portray racist imagery.
Toni Morrison’s Beloved, winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, became a topic of controversy during this year’s gubernatorial election in Virginia.
‘Beloved’ author Toni Morrison has died at 88; Northwest Iowa man ordered to pay fine for burning LGBTQ library books; eLearning platforms for libraries
Here are today’s intellectual freedom-related activities at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC: 8:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. IFC’s second business meeting, Renaissance Washington, Room 03 1:30-3:30 p.m. IFRT program: Burning […]