Ralph Ellison's 'Invisible Man' Banned from Randolph County School Libraries
Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’ Banned from Randolph County School Libraries (Photo credit: PBS)

Ralph Ellison’sInvisible Man‘ has been banned from Randolph County school libraries after the Randolph County Board of Education voted 5-2 to remove all copies of the book from school libraries.

The action stems from a Randleman High School parent’s complaint about the book. Committees at both the school and district levels recommended it not be removed.

Voting in favor of the ban were Board Chair Tommy McDonald and members Tracy Boyles, Gary Cook, Matthew Lambeth and Gary Mason. Voting against the action were Board Vice Chair Emily Coltrane and member Todd Cutler who both first introduced a motion to keep the book in the schools. This first motion was defeated by a 2-5 vote.

The book, originally published in 1952, addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the first half of the 20th century…

The board action was prompted by a complaint about the book from Kimiyutta Parson, mother of an RHS 11th-grader. She submitted a request for reconsideration of instructional media form, which detailed, in a 12-page supplemental document, her reasons for the book’s removal.

She stated, in part, “The narrator writes in the first person, emphasizing his individual experiences and his feelings about the events portrayed in his life. This novel is not so innocent; instead, this book is filthier, too much for teenagers. You must respect all religions and point of views when it comes to the parents and what they feel is age appropriate for their young children to read, without their knowledge. This book is freely in your library for them to read.”

Parson also objected to the type of language used in the book and its sexual content. Source: Courier-Tribune