Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison Parents of the Blue Valley School District in Kansas are currently petitioning for Beloved, Song of Solomon and twelve other books to be removed from all high school classrooms in the district due to "vulgar language, sexual explicitness, or violent imagery that is gratuitously employed." Their objections to the book Beloved are quoted below:
Beloved -- written at a 6th grade reading level
Morrison, Toni AP Communication Arts IV
Beloved contains incest, rape, pedophilia, graphic sex, extreme violence, sexual abuse, physical/emotional abuse,infanticide, and an extensive amount of profanity. The first two chapters contain five references to sex with cows in addition to other types of sex.
The story randomly jumps between time frames, characters, and levels of reality. The general time frame is the 1870s. Beloved is the baby daughter of a slave, Sethe, who kills Beloved with a handsaw to help Beloved avoid the horrors of growing up in a white world. Beloved comes back as a teenage ghost and lives with Sethe, with her half-sister Denver, and with her mother's live-in lover Paul D. (Paul D is also Sethe's brother-in-law and hence Beloved's uncle). Beloved, the ghost, gets pregnant by Paul D and Paul D leaves the family. Beloved eventually turns on Sethe, taunting and torturing her. Denver turns to black neighbors for help who eventually rescue Sethe from Beloved. Beloved magically disappears.
Further information about Beloved can be found at Parents Against Bad Books in Schools, www.pabbis.com.
Morrison’s other books include Song of Solomon and The Bluest Eye. Song of Solomon is also used as required reading assignments in the Blue Valley school system and the The Bluest Eye is encouraged.
Blue Valley states that this book is "essential" reading to prepare for college. This is not true! NO college that we contacted (including 15 of the most commonly-attended colleges in the area) were willing to support this statement, EVEN in the case where the in-coming freshman student declared "English" as their major.
Language includes nigger, fuck, fucking, fucking cows, fucking calves.
Wow.. these folk have a HUGE webpage dedicated to this book including excerpts of all the instances of Sex, Bestiality, Incest, Pedophilia,Torture... and just plain stuff they don't like to talk about in polite company(but which is all probably historically accurate) that it is well worth a visit to their webpage... as long as it lasts:http://www.abffe.com/bbw-classkc-beloved.htm
Challenged at the St. Johns County Schools in St. Augustine, FL (1995). Retained on the Round Rock, TX Independent High School reading list (1996) after a challenge that the book was too violent.
Challenged by a member of the Madawaska, ME School Committee (1997) because of the book's language. The 1987 Pulitzer Prize winning novel has been required reading for the advanced placement English class for six years.
Challenged in the Sarasota County, FL schools (1998) because of sexual material. Retained on the Northwest Suburban High School District 214 reading listing in Arlington Heights, IL (2006), along with eight other challenged titles. A board member, elected amid promises to bring her Christian beliefs into all board decision-making, raised the controversy based on excerpts from the books she’d found on the Internet.
Challenged in the Coeur d’Alene School District, ID (2007). Some parents say the book, along with five others, should require parental permission for students to read them.
Pulled from the senior Advanced Placement (AP) English class at Eastern High School in Louisville, KY (2007) because two parents complained that the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about antebellum slavery depicted the inappropriate topics of bestiality, racism, and sex. The principal ordered teachers to start over with The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne in preparation for upcoming AP exams.