Letters to the Editor

September 2, 2014

Ken Jones: Ignoring realities

Regarding the Sept. 1 news article: I read with some concern about the recent controversy over “Bluest Eye” and “The Color Purple” at East Wake High School. While both works certainly contain material that might make some uncomfortable, that should not be the standard by which we banish books from our schools. The books were assigned for a junior level Advanced Placement English course. The books are on the College Board’s approved reading list for the course.

Regarding the Sept. 1 news article: I read with some concern about the recent controversy over “Bluest Eye” and “The Color Purple” at East Wake High School. While both works certainly contain material that might make some uncomfortable, that should not be the standard by which we banish books from our schools. The books were assigned for a junior level Advanced Placement English course. The books are on the College Board’s approved reading list for the course.

Advanced Placement coursework is supposed to the equivalent of a college level class. I doubt many would question the assignment of either book in a college freshman literature class. Students take AP level courses by choice. If they find the curriculum objectionable, they can take another English III class that has a reading list with which they are more comfortable.

There has also been criticism of the new AP United States history curriculum for many of the same reasons. Some feel it ignores American exceptionalism and focuses too much on topics such as the treatment of Native Americans, women, immigrants and minorities. Literature and history must reflect the world from which they came. Ignoring even painful realities does not protect our young people, it limits them.

Ken Jones, Chapel Hill

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