We’re wrapping up national banned books week. Whenever I peruse a list of banned books, I’m always amazed at some of the titles–others, not so much. Funny thing about challenged books: the ban always makes sense to some. Speaking of which, my aunt recently gave me a copy of Little Black Sambo — an orphan book, she called it. Due racial stereotypes it’s no longer welcome in the school library. I’ll be the first to admit, the stereotypes do make me wince. Yet it’s a perfect reminder that censorship–no matter how admirable it may seem–is dangerous ground.
Needless to say, banned books were in the news: Banned books week: How the blacklist can goose a book’s sales; Why ‘Captain Underpants’ is the most banned book in America (it’s a little embarrassing, really–you would think we could do better); and Randolph County school board lifted the ban on Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.