The Color Purple
by Alice Walker.
Book Jacket
American Library Association2010Challenged as appropriate reading for Oakland, CA High School honors class (1984) due to the work's "sexual and social explicitness" and its "troubling ideas about race relations, man's relationship to God, African history, and human sexuality." After nine months of haggling and delays, a divided Oakland Board of Education gave formal approval for the book's use...Challenged as a reading assignment at the New Burn, NC High School (1992) because the main character is raped by her stepfather. Banned in the Souderton, PA Area School District (1992) as appropriate reading for 10th graders because it is "smut."...Challenged, along with seventeen other titles in the Fairfax County, VA elementary and secondary libraries (2002), by a group called Parents Against Bad Books in Schools. The group contends the books "contain profanity and descriptions of drug abuse, sexually explicit conduct, and torture.” Challenged in Burke County (2008) schools in Morgantown, NC by parents concerned about the homosexuality, rape, and incest portrayed in the book.
Book Summary2001The Color Purple is the first African American, woman-authored, epistolary novel...The novel opens with a demand for silence that leaves a fourteen-year-old girl named Celie with no way to express her pain and confusion except in the letters she writes to God. Celie is raped repeatedly by her stepfather, Alphonso, and has two children by him—children he gives away without her consent. Later, she is forced into a loveless marriage...She ultimately ends up in Africa where she writes to Celie of her experiences. (Debra Walker King "Color Purple, The" The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Ed. William L. Andrews, Frances Smith Foster, and Trudier Harris. Oxford University Press, 2001. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Middlesex School. 10 April 2009 )
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