High school students in Randolph County, North Carolina will no longer have the pleasure of reading Ralph Ellison’s landmark novel, “Invisible Man.”
With a 5-2 margin, board members successfully voted to banned the book, requiring all copies to be removed from school libraries.
“I didn’t find any literary value,” school board member Gary Mason said of the classic, which won the 1953 National Book Award for fiction. “I’m for not allowing it to be available.”
According to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune, the book — required reading for high school juniors at Randleman High School — was brought into question after a parent wrote a 12-page complaint.
Kimiyutta Parson stated, “The narrator writes in the first person, emphasizing his individual experiences and his feelings about the events portrayed in his life. This novel is not so innocent; instead, this book is filthier, too much for teenagers. 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.”
She added that she “objected to the type of language used in the book and its sexual content.”
“Invisible Man,” originally published 1952, “addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the first half of the 20th century.”
The masterpiece is best known for its famous opening lines: “I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allen Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie extoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids –and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.”
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