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North Carolina school board bans 'Invisible Man'

A North Carolina school board banned Ralph Ellison's 1952 novel from its reading list Monday.
By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   Sept. 19, 2013 at 9:12 AM   |   Comments

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Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A North Carolina school board banned Ralph Ellison's 1952 novel "Invisible Man" from its reading list Monday, citing a lack of "literary value."

The Randolph County Board of Education voted 5-2 to remove the book following a complaint from a parent.

“This novel is not so innocent; instead, this book is filthier, too much for teenagers,” Parson wrote in a 12-page statement to the board.

“You must respect all religions and point of views when it comes to the parents and what they feel is age appropriate for their young children to read, without their knowledge. This book is freely in your library for them to read.”

Ellison's book won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1953, and in 2010, Time magazine named the book one of the top 100 English-language novels of all time.

But board chair Tommy McDonald said that he considered the book -- one of three recommended books for summer reading for juniors at a local high school, including "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin and "Passing" by Nella Larsen -- a "hard read."

“I didn’t find any literary value,” board member Gary Mason said at the meeting. “I’m for not allowing it to be available.”

All copies of the book will be removed from Randolph County Schools libraries.

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