How book banning spread in the United States
“It gives me hope,” Johnson tells BBC Culture, “that the majority of the country is against the book ban. The fact that bans encourage students to fight for their rights to books. And that we win a lot. counties, and keeping the books on the shelves. We are prepared and organized and ready to continue this fight as long as it takes. Furthermore, banning the books did not stop publishers from writing more stories. Eventually, there should be so many stories that you can’t block them all.”
Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, a coming-of-age story that explores the effects of racism on a young girl’s psyche, is ranked third on ALA’s most challenging list. Morrison once explained that the book’s title was inspired by a black childhood friend who, when he was 11, told him that he had been praying for blue eyes for two years. “Such racism hurts” Morrison said. “This is not lynching, murder and drowning. This is internal pain.”
With BBC Culture honoring it as one of the 100 greatest children’s books of all time, it’s a good moment to imagine the children’s books yet to be written (and illustrated), the countless voices yet to be heard, the stories yet to be told. And if we consider Morrison’s eloquent argument against book banning in Burn This Book , the PEN America anthology he edited. “The thought that makes me contemplate with horror the suppression of other voices, the unwritten novels, the poems whispered or swallowed for fear of being heard by the wrong people, the outlaw languages flourishing underground, the authority-challenging questions of essayists that are never asked , unstaged plays, canceled films – the idea is a nightmare. It’s like writing an entire universe with invisible ink.”
Find out more about BBC culture‘s 100 biggest kids‘and his books:
– The 100 greatest children’s books
– Why Where the Wild Things Are is the greatest children’s book
– The greatest children’s books of the 21st century
– Who voted?
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