Posted on April 30, 2020

Alaska School Board Bans 5 ‘Controversial’ Books, Including Maya Angelou Work

Brie Stimson, Fox, April 29, 2020

school board in southern Alaska voted to remove five classic books from an approved list for high school English teachers this fall, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Last week, the Matanuska-Susitna School Board in Palmer, Alaska, voted 5-2 to ban the books, which include “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison; “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller; “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien; “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou; and “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, according to the outlet.

Angelou’s work was banned because of a graphic description she wrote about being molested as a child and for “anti-white” messaging.

“The Things They Carried,” about the Vietnam War, was cited for profanity and sexual references, while “Catch-22” was banned for racist attitudes, misogyny and violence.

As for “The Great Gatsby,” it was reportedly removed for language and sexual references, and “Invisible Man,” a story of race and identity in a pre-civil rights era America, was nixed for language and depictions of rape and incest.


Board member Jeff Taylor described the controversial content as “things that are pretty serious problems, especially in our teenage world.”