At 17, I devoured “The Bluest Eye” one rainy Saturday, and it changed me. This tragic story of Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl raped by her father and shunned by her community, blew my white teen body angst out of the water with the ugliness of internalized racism. Pecola believed blue eyes and white skin would change everything.
According to a Sept. 1 news article, East Wake High pulled “The Bluest Eye” and “The Color Purple” based on one parent’s objection. Parent Dawn MacGibbon is right about one thing: There is incest in “The Bluest Eye” and rape in both novels. There is also incest in “Oedipus Rex” and rape in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But no one objects to these works by white authors on the AP reading list, but two novels by two black writers are inappropriate.
Contesting books about the struggles of African-Americans by two prize-winning African-American authors (among the white-dominated reading lists) troubles me. Removing them is injustice.
Shame on East Wake for silencing the African-American voices of these novels. The school just reinforced the cultural racism that makes young black girls like Pecola Breedlove long to be white.
Natalie Rich, Chapel Hill