For Banned Books Week, September 22-28, 2013 SLCC Digital Archives has created an Online Exhibit to raise awareness of censorship and to celebrate the freedom to read!
Throughout history, some of the most culturally important books have been banned, drawing attention to the important issues they present and, ironically, making them more enticing, especially to young readers.
Books are still being banned or challenged in today’s society. Just last week, a North Carolina County School Board voted 5-2 to ban Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,”stating that they found “no literary value” in the work and that it was “too much for teenagers.” “Invisible Man” is one of the most famous pieces of literature about Black life in America in the 1950s and won the National Book Award, so the school board’s assertion that it had no literary merit is, at the very least, questionable. It is also the number one most cited book on the College Board’s Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition exam.
Just a few days before North Carolina’s decision, in Arizona, “Dreaming in Cuban,”Cristina Garcia’s critically acclaimed book about politics and family after the 1959 Cuban Revolution, was banned. The American Library Association says that the book has never been banned before, even though the parent who challenged the book cited sexually explicit material. Considering Arizona’s long history of banning booksand stripping courses having to do with Latino/a culture, this decision is questionable as well.
Be sure to also check out the highlighted article on the Banned Books Online Exhibitabout a Catholic School Student who started a “secret library of banned books” that she runs out of her locker at school!
For more information about the SLCC Digital Archives / Digital Collections visit our website.