This week is National Read a Banned Book Week. This is supposed to be in protest to the book banning that continues to happen in public schools and public libraries. In many places, a book can be banned from a school due to a parent’s complaint, or any teacher viewing it as “offensive”. In some cases, book banning in schools can have books removed even from public libraries. To me, this is offensive because it allows someone else to decide what I read. It also limits freedom of speech.
Why should influential books be banned? Well, let us use Huck Finn as an example. In this case, the word “nigger” is used, and that is “offensive”. Oddly enough, the way that the word is used does not seem to matter. In Huck Finn, “nigger” is used in a satirical manner that shows the negative points of the characters in the book who speak in that manner. In effect, it does not promote such “offensive language”. By banning a book that uses specific language for character development we are restricting our children’s learning. How many people read Huck Finn as high school students? Not many, because it is banned. Yet we use it as college reading, because it is an example of the first American vernacular style writing.
There are many other books also banned, and you may choose them for National Read a Banned Book Week; even if you don’t, do something to stop the censorship that happens in our schools and libraries. After all, we should have a right to choose what we read.