Brunswick Co. School Board Votes to Keep ‘The Color Purple’ on High School Reading List
BOLIVIA, N.C. – Today the Brunswick County Board of Education voted 3-2 to uphold a decision by the county superintendent to keep Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Color Purple,” as part of the school system’s high school curriculum. The vote came after the board received public testimony from parents, students, educators, and community members.
In response, Chris Brook, Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation, released the following statement:
“Today’s vote marks a victory for academic freedom and the rights of students. The freedom to read is just as essential to a healthy democracy as the freedom of speech and all other rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. Literary classics such as ‘The Color Purple’ are part of high school curricula across the country precisely because they tackle difficult and challenging topics that compel students to think critically about the world around them. When we deny students access to certain books or ideas, we deny them access to knowledge and the tools necessary for critical thinking. We are glad the board did the right thing today, and we will continue to monitor the situation going forward.”
In September 2013, the Randolph County Board of Education voted to reverse an earlier vote banning Ralph Ellison’s literary classic, “Invisible Man,” from Randolph County schools.