Banned Books – The Classics, with Oh No! Lit Class podcast

This week’s special guest is Megan Dangerous from Oh No! Lit Class.


Walk into your local library this week and you’re likely to see a display of books that have been banned in different times and places for a variety of reasons.  Standard choices include
Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, Huckleberry Finn and maybe some more recent additions like The Kite Runner.  Most of us glance over it was we walk by, but not so for a group of pastors in Maine.  They want to ban the display of banned books.

The pastors don’t seem to mind the books banned for racist language, violence against women or drug use, just the ones that shine a positive light on LGBTQ characters.  The library refused to remove any books from its display and one can only hope opened a dictionary to the entry for ‘irony.’ Banned books fall into two major categories: those banned by specific institutions, such as a school district, and those banned by countries.  

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Stolen Innocents

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Funny how that only seems to apply to bad things. Without getting into current politics, which you’re safe from here, we can’t ignore the plight of children seized from parents of a particular group. And it’s not the first time either. The American government took tens of thousands of children from Native families and placed them in boarding schools with strict assimilation practices. Their philosophy – kill the Indian to save the man. My name’s Moxie and this is your brain on facts.

That was the mindset under which the U.S. government Native children to attend boarding schools, beginning in the late 19th century, when the government was still fighting “Indian wars.” There had been day and boarding schools on reservations prior to 1870, when U.S. cavalry captain, Richard Henry Pratt established the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. This school was not on a reservation, so as to further remove indigenous influences. The Carlisle school and other boarding schools were part of a long history of U.S. attempts to either kill, remove, or assimilate Native Americans. “As white population grew in the United States and people settled further west towards the Mississippi in the late 1800s, there was increasing pressure on the recently removed groups to give up some of their new land,” according to the Minnesota Historical Society. Since there was no more Western territory to push them towards, the U.S. decided to remove Native Americans by assimilating them. In 1885, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Hiram Price explained the logic: “it is cheaper to give them education than to fight them.”
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