|Scooped by Meleny Weber|
I first heard about certain books being banned from schools throughout the country in some of my other education classes here at UMD. I have heard of several of these books being banned, but I did not know there were so many! They even have an entire week dedicated to the books banned in classrooms today. The U.S. Library of Congress even created an entire exhibit on the books currently banned. This website lists 30 books that are banned and the reasoning behind the banning. Several of them caught my eye. One of the books at the top of the list is Mark Twain's, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Many parents and school systems do not allow students to read this classic because of the frequent use of the n-word. Other people have said that this book is “racially insensitive,” “oppressive,” and it “perpetuates racism.” Another book that is being challenged is the Autobiography of Malcolm X; a book that tells stories and stuggles of the past. People claim that these stories are a “how-to-manual” for crime, and often use "anti-white statements". One other book that really caught my eye on the list was Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter". This classic novel is banned from some classrooms because parents think it is pornographic and obscene. This novel caused a lot of drama when it was first released in 1850, and it is currently still the talk of the town.
I am confused by these books being banned. First of all, I have read all three of the books I mentioned, and I have read a majority of the 30 books listed in the article. If they are banned, why did I read them? I did further research to answer my question and found that only certain school districts ban specific books primarily based off of what the parents of the students complain about. Secondly, as the title of the article says, these books are classics that so many Americans have read. They helped shape America to what it is today. Why would parents not want their kids to read these? I understand that some of the books listed have curse words, innapropriate words and actions, but that is what the world is full of. Parents need to stop sheltering their children, because eventually they are going to run into something in life. It is better for them to have a good basis of understanding about an issue before they are thrown into a world full of it.