Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This Is Our Lives, The Freedom That We Seek

I know I'm a little late to the party, but I had to take a break from my busy day to mention that it is Banned Books Week. It is ridiculous to think that in this country, in this age, the practice of book banning still goes on. But, one look at the American Library Association's Top 10 most banned books of 2008 shows the practice is alive and well.

When I was in high school, my cousin's Advanced English class was set to read Alice Walker's The Color Purple. That was, until someone in the class had an objection. The 15 year old boy in question took umbrage with the book. Was it the violence, the tales of racism, sexism and rape? No, it was the use of the word pussy and the fact that the book depicts two women falling in love.

No, I'm not kidding. The word pussy being in the book is perfectly logical to the plot and character. It being, after all, a book told from a woman's point of view. And the love between Shug and Celie is one of the focal points of the story. But, this student just couldn't, as a Christian, stand the thought of being forced to read such filth. The class never had the chance to read the book as a collective. Those of us who wanted to see what all the fuss was about had to go the bookstore three towns over, as the controversy made the news and caused the local store to sell out in days.

So, take some time this week to peruse and maybe read one of the great banned classics. There are so many fabulous choices. Celebrate one of our greatest freedoms and read something. It is the easiest way to fight the man that I know of.


Emerald said...

You (and this post) crossed my consciousness last night when I encountered this online. :) (The Color Purple is even one of them!)

Heidi Champa said...

I still have the copy of the book I bought in protest.

Good to have you back, Emerald.