Harper Lee Lays The Smack Down
I’ve always been shocked to find out that some school districts and libraries have actually banned To Kill A Mockingbird. How ridiculous is that?
I’ve expressed my opinions about banned books on the blog before, so I won’t go back into all that. But, today, I’ll let Harper Lee give her opinion on the matter.
In 1966, the Hanover County School Board in Virginia removed all copies of To Kill A Mockingbird from their libraries. They believed the book to be “immoral.”
Harper Lee responded by writing the following letter to the Richmond News Leader, which, in turn, published it. The fund she mentions at the bottom of this letter gave away free copies of the book to any child who wanted one. That’s awesome.
I love this letter! (source: Letters of Note and Understanding To Kill A Mockingbird):
Editor, The News Leader:
Recently I have received echoes down this way of the Hanover County School Board’s activities, and what I’ve heard makes me wonder if any of its members can read.
Surely it is plain to the simplest intelligence that “To Kill a Mockingbird” spells out in words of seldom more than two syllables a code of honor and conduct, Christian in its ethic, that is the heritage of all Southerners. To hear that the novel is “immoral” has made me count the years between now and 1984, for I have yet to come across a better example of doublethink.
I feel, however, that the problem is one of illiteracy, not Marxism. Therefore I enclose a small contribution to the Beadle Bumble Fund that I hope will be used to enroll the Hanover County School Board in any first grade of its choice.
Don’t screw around with Harper Lee.
Unbelievable. Were these school board members in Virginia in 1966 really this stupid?