Banned Book Club is a meme I host where we read one historically challenged book a month. We support free speech and fight censorship every chance we get. Join our Goodreads group and DM me on Twitter to join our group chat.
Book of the month: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Banned for: “Sexual and social explicitness”, language, “troubling ideas about race relations, man’s relationship to God, African history, and human sexuality”
Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to “Mister,” a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.
The Color Purple was in my TBR for the longest time, before we finally decided to read it for the Banned Book Club this month. And my, what a read it was!
This epistolary novel is about Celie, an African American woman, and the racism and sexism she faces. As a teenager, she’s raped by her Pa and gets pregnant. She delivers two babies but they’re torn away from her. She’s also married off to a man who’s still in love with Shug Avery, a former partner of his. His kids from an earlier marriage don’t treat Celie any better either.
This is the story of how Celie finally embraces her inner free spirit and learns to be independent and speak for herself.
The Color Purple is an excellent book about female relationships, family dynamics, and how you can turn your life around if only you embraced your creative spirit, your God, that exists in you.
As always, this is yet another book that never should have been banned or challenged.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5