A  central North Carolina school district voted to remove Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” from county school libraries this week. Yes, America, we just love dumbing it down. You can all thank Kimiyutta Parson’s complaint to the Randolph County Board of Education.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports, “The Randolph County Board of Education voted 5-2 Monday to suppress the seminal 1952 work on the oppressive social climate that African Americans faced in the early 20th century.”

Those who voted in support of the book’s removal 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.

Via RT:

Before the vote took place, a motion to keep the book in district libraries was introduced. It failed by a 2-5 vote. All board members were given copies to read before the vote. Board Chair McDonald said “it was a hard read.” Mason said, “I didn’t find any literary value” and objected to the book’s language. “I’m for not allowing it to be available,” he added.  A school district official said ahead of the vote that ‘Invisible Man’ was just one of many options in school libraries, and that no student was forced to read it. She also stressed that the state Department of Public Instruction approved the book for student consumption. ‘Invisible Man’ was one of three books that Randleman High School juniors-to-be in the 2013-14 school year could choose to read for the summer. ‘Black Like Me’ by John Howard Griffin and ‘Passing’ by Nella Larsen were the students’ other choices. Honors students had to choose two of the three books.

Parson, the mother of an 11th grader, felt the book’s  language and sexual content of the book objectionable and said, 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.”

In 2010, Time magazine named the book one of the top 100 English-language novels of all time, calling it “the quintessential American picaresque of the 20th century.”

Ms. Parson,  I hope your 11th grader is similar to a Cosby kid, because if not, I’m quite sure their language and behavior at school is probably objectionable. You don’t see anyone voting them out of the educational system.



  • Jen Jen

    ‘Mason said, “I didn’t find any literary value…”’ O_o

  • omfg


    i’m sure these dumbfcks are barely literate anyway.

    they probably struggle with dr. seuss.

  • [email protected]

    We cannot have honest conversations about our future as a country if we cannot talk about and effectively address past events that have brought us to where we are today.

  • Chilecheese

    But these arent young children they are a year away from technically being seen as adults so how in the world do you complain about the sexual content of a book… and your “child’s” tender eyes and ears have probably seen and heard some of the most sexually vulgar trashy music, videos, and tv shows do you monitor their iPods probably not….if we aren’t challenging these kids and opening up their minds then who are we raising?…

  • http://gravatar.com/mijoi Michelle

    any excuse will do for some people, just because they want it removed does not mean it can not be read. It has been a part of great literary genre for ages and it always will be, I bet these same teenagers read Fifty shades of Grey, Zane, watch Miley Cyrus, etc., etc., but ignorance want to remain bliss…

  • justanotheropinion

    Another bright and shinning day for Amerikkka. And to think, the library is supported by your tax dollars. Don’t you just love it when someone TELLS you what you can and cannot read..?

  • John

    Not sure I object to the decision. I never managed to get past the first few chapters of the book myself. Very interesting read, but hard because it introduces subject matter that may be unfamiliar to the reader: freshmen students engaged in homosexual acts, and an incestuous relationship between a father his wife and his daughter. The graphic nature of that account just caused me to put the book down. I just did not think I could handle the subject matter…. and I was a young adult. But now at 46, I would like to finish the book.
    Again, for high school students, I commend the parent for making a stand. It was not about race, but about subject matter inappropriate for youth.

  • MommieDearest


    If as a parent, you don’t want your child to read the book, fine. There are others to choose from. But banning the book all together is very “big brother.’

    This is a slippery slope…

  • Anthony

    No wonder we have dumbass cops in NC that gun down black men seeking help after car wrecks. The school systems there ban books that could educate about racism because of a few dirty words or some talk about sex.

  • Jef Powers

    Ms. Kimiyutta Parson’s official “complaint” about Ralph Ellison’s celebrated novel exposes her to be functionally illiterate, impercipient to an irony so glaring it could burn the eyes out of a person of normal intelligence, and utterly disrespectful to the larger community in which she lives.

    A person who cannot construct a successful English sentence complains about what she descries as the so-called “filth” of an American masterpiece. Who could possibly bring themselves to care about what such a person attempts to define as virtuous.

    I will simply state that in this matter Ms. Parson has shown herself to be a blathering idiot.

    Though admirable, many attempts here to “support” her are sadly futile.

    I would ask if any of her “supporters” have ever actually read an entire copy of ‘Invisible Man’ or have you merely concentrated on the salacious bits?

    Do your doctors still offer you a lollipop after you visit with her or are you all able to bear up and go forth without receiving one?

    Sure, a bunch of “goody-two-shoes” from North Carolina don’t cotton to no danged dirty books. Jeez, those five Asheboro school board boys, Ms. Parson, and the Brown Shirts should roast some marshmallows together over an open fire. What are you going to ban next?

    I can hardly wait to hear about it.

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