Book Review · Memes

Banned Books Week – The Color Purple

Banned Books – Banned books are books or other printed works such as essays or plays which are prohibited by law or to which free access is not permitted by other means. The practice of banning books is a form of censorship, from political, legal, religious, moral, or (less often) commercial motives. – Wikipedia

In celebration of banned books week, I will choose one banned book each day to highlight.  Some of those won’t be a surprise.  Some of them may shock you. Good. Don’t be afraid to read a banned book today…

 

purple

The Color Purple – Alice Walker

Reasons for ban – Explicit and “troubling” ideas about race relations, man’s relationship to God, African history, human sexuality, and domestic violence

This is an explicit book.  Yes, and it is brutally honest about race relations in the south during the early part of the 20th century. It is a book about faith, but not necessarily Christian faith.  It does have scenes and descriptions of sexual situations, including homosexual relationships and incest. All of those things that they accuse the book of being are true.

However, it is also a book of rare beauty. It shows the evil that human’s can inflict on each other but tempered with love and kindness that can bring us back from despair. Admittedly, I would not give this book to a younger teen. But, I think that there are lessons to be learned here. Lessons that older teens and adults need to be exposed to. This book depicts truly ugly things, but they are ugly and true. The experiences you read here is the reality of life for many people. If it makes the censorship board uncomfortable to read, then, in my opinion, we shouldn’t be putting the book away. Marking it as unfit for consumption.  We should be reading it again and again. Until we can look these issues unflinchingly and then put our hand to the wheel and fix them. You can’t fix what you can’t see.

Read this book.  It is wonderful.  See the movie. It’s also wonderful and heartfelt. You will need an entire box of tissues, no joke. I haven’t seen the play but I’ve heard it’s great too. But, first read the book.  You won’t be sorry.

Bonus link: If you are a fan, please visit Alice Walker’s Facebook page. In February of 2016 she did a bunch of posts in discussion of The Color Purple.  She is such a gracious lady.

“Banned” Bloggers: Here are links to a couple of other bloggers I’ve come across who are also celebrating Banned Books Week.  Please visit their pages.  They have so much good information!

Song for this book: Miss Celie’s Blues – The Color Purple (movie)

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Banned Books Week – The Color Purple

  1. “You can’t fix what you can’t see” – very valid point! I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I love that you’re using the opportunity to make series of posts highlighting banned books 🙂 I have a series of blog posts going on for this week as well and I just published the second one, which is about the problem with the practice of banning books in general. If you want to check it out, here is the link:
    https://mreadsbooks.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/banned-books-week-pt-2-the-problem/

  2. Brilliant post! I’m loving seeing all the different posts about Banned Book Week. I adore the Color Purple and it still makes me think today 10 years or so after reading, I especially loved when you said “However, it is also a book of rare beauty. It shows the evil that human’s can inflict on each other but tempered with love and kindness that can bring us back from despair.” this really hits the nail on the head for me!

  3. Thanks for the shout-out, Crystal! I appreciate it. I completely agree with you about how older teens and adults should read this book. I think this book could really help many teens struggling with bullying and the emotional fallout of friendships by demonstrating that you are more than the person other people want you to be. I would love to see this book in more upper-high school curriculums!

    And, if you are interested in checking out my review of The Color Purple: http://deathbytsundoku.com/wordpress/the-color-purple/

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