The Bible and an adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary threatened by American conservatives because of sexual references

The Bible and an adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary threatened by American conservatives because of sexual references

Recently, private and public school libraries were forced to remove dozens of books and works from shelves and computer equipment. Among them, an illustrated adaptation of Diary of Anne Frankas well as the Bible.

Parents of students, politicians and various American conservative pressure groups have found a new common occupation: to come together to examine dozens of books in order to assess whether they are in conformity with “morality”. These analyzes aim above all to highlight the “unhealthy” nature of extracts likely to disturb pupils, in particular those which nourish reflections on questions of sexual and racial identity as well as on certain political or historical episodes. This is what happened in Fort Worth, Texas, in a school district. Conservative parents have asked the establishment to withdraw books deemed too progressive.

Among these books, ADiary of nne Frank: The Graphic Adaptation. This graphic work designed by the Israeli director Ari Folman and the illustrator David Polonsky is an adaptation of the besteller diary which remains one of the most powerful testimonies on the Holocaust. The parents motivated this withdrawal by explaining that they were embarrassed by references to the subject of the female genitalia as well as to homosexuality. the New York Times had mentioned a book “so interesting and so effective that it is easy to imagine that it could replace the original Journal in classes and with young readers”.

©Anne Frank Fund

The Bible also paid the price for these new rules because of sexual allusions deemed disturbing.

“To Kill a Mockingbird”, The Scarlet Handmaiden, Maus…The list of books that have been banned in recent months in some American schools and libraries continues to grow. Pen America, a literary organization for the defense of freedom of expression, has studied the phenomenon and reveals in a study that school censorship is exploding in conservative circles. It notes a 250% increase compared to 2021. The organization also warns that 86 school districts in the United States have banned 1,586 books in eight months.

These restrictions obviously have multiple consequences, but one of the most alarming is the shrinking space for minority stories often written by racialized people or members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Among the targets of this conservative policy are works considered masterpieces of American literature such as Beloved by Toni Morrison The hate we give by Angie Thomas or even All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.

Faced with this situation, the American Library Association is organizing resistance in order to warn of the dangers and excesses of this type of measure. At the same time, small libraries have made it their mission to accommodate all books that are no longer welcome in certain conservative states.

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