Censorship Timeline

The cases presented here represent those that received the most publicity. Though the book was published in 1970, the first challenge that we could find record of was in 1998.  This is right after the book first began to be added to approved reading lists in different states. The resolution to these cases were listed if we were able to find that information.

We found an increase in cases at about 2009-2010. Though we are not sure of the exact reason for this, we do know that Toni Morrison endorsed President Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2008. This gave her publicity outside of the literary community and made her a more commonly known name. This could contribute to the increase in her book being challenged. Seeing an author or book that a parent is unfamiliar with on their child’s reading list may be commonplace. However a parent is likely to take notice if they recognize the author and especially if they recognize the author as someone who endorsed a candidate who they disagree with politically.

Works Cited

Gomez, Betsy. “Two Challenges Kick Off Banned Books Week.” Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, 25 Sept. 2017.

Williams, Maren. “The Color Purple and The Bluest Eye Challenged in North Carolina AP Class.” Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, 28 Apr. 2014.

Titus, Ron. “Marshall University Libraries.” Banned Book – Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Marshall University Libraries, 20 July 2017.


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