‘Trash in, trash out,’ Brunswick County Commissioner Pat Sykes wrote in her request to remove Alice Walker’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel The Color Purple from a N.C. school district (read her formal challenge here). After hearing complaints from parents, Ms. Sykes as well as fellow commissioner Marty Cooke have made it their goal to see to the removal of the book. Mr. Cooke is married to a member of the Brunswick County school board.

Has Ms. Sykes read the book in question? No. ‘I have no desire to read such language,’ she told reporters.

A review committee established by West Brunswick High School upheld the use of the book. Ms. Sykes appealed that decision to the commissioner, who also held the book should remain.

On January 3, the book faced a vote from the school board. After a two-hour long discussion of the book, the board confusedly voted 3-2 to remove it, then — understanding their error — voted again to keep the book. Though the book will remain, the board is considering revising its policies to tighten access to books like ‘The Color Purple.’

In a letter, NCAC and partner organizations asked the district to support the committee’s unanimous decision and spoke to the educational value of Walker’s book.


Letter to Brunswick County Schools about The Color Purple by ncacensorship