Author responds to "The Color Purple" backlash - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Pulitzer Prize winning author responds to calls by parents to ban ‘The Color Purple’

Alice Walker says she's used to people wanting to ban her book. Alice Walker says she's used to people wanting to ban her book.
SOUTHEASTERN, NC (WECT) -

The Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Color Purple responded to calls by parents in Brunswick County to ban the book from schools.

Alice Walker was honored at a luncheon in Wilmington on Wednesday at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

An effort to ban the book failed in Brunswick County earlier this year. Parents were upset about the mature content of the book.

"Classics are always at stake because they make people think, and they make people think about you know things that maybe some of the people in the community don't want you to think about," Walker said. 

Walker said she's used to people wanting to ban her book.

"It's been banned so many times that I don't really have much of a reaction," Walker explained. "But just understand that sometimes you're depriving your children of the opportunity to learn something new and something that might be very helpful."

Earlier this year, Brunswick County Commissioner Pat Sykes led the charge to get The Color Purple banned for what she called inappropriate sexual content and language.

"But you just understand, as a mature person that people have different ways of expressing themselves and it doesn't mean you have to do it," Walker said.

Walker also said that just because a book has profanity doesn't mean people who read it will start cursing. Walker said with the proper resources, students can learn a lot from the book.

"What happens is when you ban a book, the children are interested and so they go and get a copy and they read it," Walker noted. "It's too bad because if you left it in the school, the teachers would guide them and children need guidance. They actually do in reading."

Walker said a lot of people who oppose the book are afraid of women empowerment, seeing people stand up to abuse and seeing homosexual relationships. Walker said it's important for students to be exposed to diverse types of people.

"If you're not reading books about that rock the boat, you're not learning about the real World," Walker emphasized.  

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.
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