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Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:17 PM

Ralph Ellison’s race classic “Invisible Man” banned in North Carolina

The novel has been banned after having been assigned as summer reading in a district under fire for school prayer



BY DANIEL D'ADDARIO


Students in Randolph County, North Carolina won’t have access to “Invisible Man.”

That county’s board of education voted 5-2 this week to remove all copies of the Ralph Ellison novel from school libraries, following a parental complaint about the book’s content and language when it was assigned as summer reading in local Randleman High School. “It was a hard read,” said board chair Tommy McDonald, who voted in favor of the ban.

Another board member said, “I didn’t find any literary value.”

“Invisible Man,” which won the National Book Award upon its 1953 publication and which has a place on the Modern Library’s list of the 100 best novels of the twentieth century, appraises the social conditions surrounding blacks in the decades before the eventual civli rights movement; the protagonist is invisible because white society refuses to see him.

The book’s fate is uncertain; a Randleman High School committee has recommended the book remain on shelves there. Randleman has recently been a flashpoint for civil liberties, with the ACLU demanding this month that the school stop invocations of the Lord’s Prayer at football games.

Daniel D'Addario is a staff reporter for Salon's entertainment section. Follow him on Twitter @DPD_

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/19/ralph_ellisons_race_classic_invisible_man_banned_in_north_carolina/

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Reply Ralph Ellison’s race classic “Invisible Man” banned in North Carolina (Original post)
MrScorpio Sep 2013 OP
JaneyVee Sep 2013 #1
northoftheborder Sep 2013 #2
Peregrine Took Sep 2013 #3
Egalitarian Thug Sep 2013 #4
hollysmom Sep 2013 #5
caraher Sep 2013 #9
malaise Sep 2013 #6
Warpy Sep 2013 #7
etherealtruth Sep 2013 #8
mzmolly Sep 2013 #12
DirkGently Sep 2013 #10
rurallib Sep 2013 #11
JI7 Sep 2013 #13
csziggy Sep 2013 #14
jmowreader Sep 2013 #20
Cha Sep 2013 #15
SaveAmerica Sep 2013 #16
Scurrilous Sep 2013 #17
WCGreen Sep 2013 #18
Blue_Tires Sep 2013 #19

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:19 PM

1. Ugh.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:28 PM

2. That's one I need to read.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:29 PM

3. We changed our vacation. Not going to N.C. after all. n/t

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:32 PM

4. Stupid is highly contagious and apparently it is spreading even more quickly

 

than we feared it would.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:34 PM

5. I thought they reversed that already due to protests

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:00 PM

9. They're having a meeting

ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Board of Education has decided to take another look at its ban of a book from the shelves of Randolph County Schools libraries.

The board will hold a special meeting Wednesday, Sept. 25, concerning the book. It’s set for 5 p.m. at the Central Services board room at the McDowell Center, 2222 S. Fayetteville St., Asheboro.

No reason was given for scheduling the session, announced Thursday morning, other than it was called “for the purpose of reconsidering the status of the book entitled ‘Invisible Man’ by Ralph Ellison.”

The board originally decided, by a 5-2 vote at its Monday night meeting, to ban the book after a brief discussion. Last month, board members were each given a copy of the book to read, but there was no indication during the discussion if they had all read it.


From the Courier-Tribune (Asheboro, NC)

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:38 PM

6. My dad bought that book for me on one of his trips to the US

I was a teenager

the stupid burns like acid.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:41 PM

7. I know the area, it's mostly rural

and there's no one more intolerant than a small town Philistine.

They're the last people who should have any say over what's in school libraries.

These are the kind of people who hear the Bill of Rights read and think it's out of the Communist Manifesto.

If any of you haven't read this book, do so. It's a good read.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:44 PM

8. “I didn’t find any literary value.”

For a novel widely considered one of the 100 best English language novels of the 20th century .... this ass clown's comment “I didn’t find any literary value,” tells me all I need to know about him.

Seriously, at what point did ignorance become a source of pride for so many?

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:28 AM

12. Probably above the SOBs level of

comprehension.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:05 PM

10. That's a great book. Probably the real problem. n/t

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:14 PM

11. Been a long time since I read it, but I recall I could not put it down

Well, I am sure they just made the book one the kids will want to order online or drive to a large city to buy.
No doubt it is an attractive read now.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:30 AM

13. what books would he consider to be of literary value ?

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Response to JI7 (Reply #13)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:34 AM

14. Green Eggs and Ham? n/t

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Response to JI7 (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 26, 2013, 03:20 AM

20. The Bible, and only the Bible

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:40 AM

15. So what scares these people about Ralph Ellison's book,

The Invisible Man"?

Invisible Man won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction in 1953. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Invisible Man nineteenth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Man

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:44 AM

16. This is an article from 1955, right? Right?

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 02:52 AM

17. K & R

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 03:17 AM

18. Of course

And North Carolina was supposed to be part of the "new" south...

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 03:58 PM

19. I'd asked in the earlier threads...

What's with these BOE's completely caving in to the complaint of ONE ignorant parent? That's something happening more and more often in recent years...

And the board member who couldn't find "any literary value" should be made to fully explain and defend that opinion...

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