School District Rescinds Ban on Invisible Man

North Carolina officials thought Ellison's classic was inappropriate for teens

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 26, 2013 4:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – A North Carolina school board has rescinded its ban on Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, returning it to local high school libraries. The Randolph County Board of Education voted 6-1 this week to reverse the ban it issued 10 days ago. The board voted 5-2 on Sept. 16 to pull the widely acclaimed book from the library shelves. The initial decision came in reaction to a complaint from the mother of a Randleman High School student who said the book was "too much for teenagers." The mother specifically objected to the book's language and sexual content.

Invisible Man is a first-person narrative by a black man who considers himself socially invisible. Originally published in 1952, it won the US National Book Award for Fiction in 1953. The Courier-Tribune of Asheboro has more details. (The book series that drew the most complaints nationwide in 2012? The Adventures of Captain Underpants, about a pair of fourth-grade jokesters, reports CNN.)

This 1964 file photo shows Ralph Ellison, author of the widely acclaimed "The Invisible Man."   (AP Photo/FILE)
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