For the last month, a parent in Brunswick County, North Carolina, has been waging a war against Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Color Purple. CBLDF has joined a coalition led by CBLDF-sponsored Kids’ Right to Read Project to send a letter in support of the book. CBLDF joins coalition efforts like this one to protect the freedom to read comics. Censorship manifests in many ways, and the unique visual nature of comics makes them more prone to censorship than other types of books. Taking an active stand against all instances of censorship curbs precedent that could adversely affect the rights upon which comics readers depend.
Brunswick Country Commissioner Pat Sykes began her campaign against the book, citing “the immorality, the filth, the F word, and N word” as reasons the book should be banned. She even equated the book with pornography in her original complaint: “You need to be 21 to drink but we provide porn.” The review committee unanimously supported the retention of the book, but Sykes remains adamant in her crusade. She appealed the decision to the county commissioner, who also ruled the book appropriate. The book’s fate now rests in the hands of the county’s school board.
The entirety of the letter CBLDF signed follows.
Letter to Brunswick County Schools about The Color Purple
This is just the latest book challenge in a year that has seen a notable increase in attempts to ban books. We need your help to keep fighting for the right to read in 2014! Get in the Spirit of Giving, and help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by visiting the Rewards Zone, making a donation, or becoming a member of CBLDF!