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Students Raising Hands in Classroom
Op-Ed March 20, 2023

The NAACP Condemns Removal of Toni Morrison’s ‘The Bluest Eye’ from School Districts

Students Raising Hands in Classroom

The NAACP unequivocally condemns the decision of many school districts to censor "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison. This book is an important work that offers insight into how racism and prejudice can affect individuals, and it is a critical part of our country's literary heritage. By prohibiting its presence in K-12 education, we are depriving students of a fundamental source of knowledge about the history of race in America. 

Furthermore, this censorship reflects systemic inequalities that exist within our education system - Inequalities that disproportionately impact Black students and leave them more vulnerable to censorship. All too often, those with the most power make decisions regarding what information students can access and learn. While novels like "The Bluest Eye" are deemed inappropriate, students are taught to revere historical figures, like Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson, who have well documented histories of human atrocities, including racial and sexual violence.  

This type of censorship perpetuates ignorance and intolerance, leaving our youth ill-prepared to tackle the complexities of racism they will inevitably face in their lives. The NAACP believes everyone should have access to quality education with equal opportunities for learning regardless of race or background. We must come together as a nation to ensure all students receive an education focused on equity and inclusion so we can move towards true equality in our schools across America.

We thank our State Conference leadership for alerting the national office that "The Bluest Eye" has been banned in two school districts in the past few weeks. We will work with all of our NAACP units to ensure that this type of censorship does not continue and that all students receive an equal education. We encourage all members of the NAACP to use their voice to speak out against censorship and advocate for equity in our educational system. Together, we can work towards building a future where everyone has access to quality resources regardless of race or background.