OPINION: Beauty of banned books – Red and Black




Many great authors have written works that have been banned in schools because of their controversial content. Although these books have been banned for a reason, they are still an important part of literary history. Whatever these books contain that led to them being banned from being read in schools should not outweigh the reason they were written in the first place. Many of theses banned books were written to teach future generations of a time or event in history.


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Banned Books

Books at the Athens-Clarke County library. 


Taylor Hess | Contributor

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was published in the United States in 1885 and almost immediately stirred controversy. Librarians from Concord, Massachusetts, where the book was banned, called it “trash and suitable only for the slums.” Other allegations of the book are that it “is racially insensitive,” “oppressive,” and “perpetuates racism.” While the reasoning behind the banning of Twain’s novel is justifiable, it is still a part of literary history.

Literature has evolved over the years and so have readers. Banned Book Week is from Sept. 24 to Sept. 30 this year. This yearly event is meant to be a time for book lovers to band together and fight for the books that have been banned. Banned Book Week is meant to be a celebration, because even though many books have been banned from schools, they are still available to readers.

“Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Highlighting the value of free and open access to information, Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular,” wrote the American Library Association.


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Banned books

Books at the Athens-Clarke County library. 


Taylor Hess | Contributor

Avid Bookshop and Phi Kappa Literary Society hosted a banned book reading in Athens on Sept. 25. They want to focus on not just the banned books and the freedom to be able to read them, but they also want to accentuate Athens as a community that supports literature.

Topics that are hard to talk about are discussed everyday because they either strike controversy or debate. Racist classics or problematic banned books still represent a specific time in literary history, and they should be used to create conversation about change moving forward.



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