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Banning my history one page at a time

Jaira Stanley, Social Media/Online Editor

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Recently, a public school district in Biloxi, Mississippi, banned the historical classic To Kill A Mockingbird from their classrooms, insisting that the book makes students uncomfortable.

If you aren’t aware of the ban, then pay attention because your history is disappearing minute- by-minute.

To Kill A Mockingbird is a historic novel based on a girl named Scout in the 1930’s and her father, Atticus Finch, who is a lawyer defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. The novel won many awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Biloxi is not the only school to ban the novel. According to The Washington Post, “… more than 300 formal complaints against the books were reported by schools, colleges and public libraries last year.”
So, why the huge push back for this classic piece of literature?

To Kill a Mockingbird includes the n-word numerous times along with racial slurs and other inappropriate language.

But let’s be frank, this is part of American history; it’s supposed to make you uncomfortable. If you aren’t, then that’s another problem.

Critics say To Kill A Mockingbird is too inappropriate for the classroom environment, yet books like  The Catcher in the Rye, which was originally intended for adult readers, features foul language frequently including a part of the novel with a prostitute in the main character’s- hotel room.

This is no bash toward J.D Salinger; however, the book is about a teenage boy trying to become a man. It’s a classic story. Students can read Harry Potter and receive the same message.

To Kill a Mockingbird requires us to think, to understand and to be aware of our history.

To Kill A Mockingbird isn’t the only historical book labeled inappropriate; The Autobiography of Malcolm X was described as a “how to manual for crime and includes anti-white statements,” according to Banned Books Week. The Words of Cesar Chavez is banned due to insensitivity.

So it’s not just one small novel that is banned from the classroom because of making students “uncomfortable”, it’s countless pieces of historical literature that has been shunned away.
For me, banning Mockingbird is almost like you’re trying to ban my history.

It may sound like a stretch, but even a major book publisher like McGraw Hill has changed the word slaves to workers in some history books to “dull the harshness” of slavery and to “alleviate the tension between students in our classrooms.”

Historical books are supposed to be uncomfortable because our history was uncomfortable for many minorities.

We learn history so we don’t repeat it; taking away historical books like this is a stepping stone toward the same path.

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The student news site of Homewood Flossmoor High School
Banning my history one page at a time