alice childress

Sorry, I just found this …. so next year … 

but take a look …  and then ask yourself, 

if I turned my life into a memoir, 

Could it be on this list of life changing books?

NATIONAL BANNED BOOKS WEEK 

SEPTEMBER 27 - OCTOBER 3, 2015

Challenged and Banned Books by and about African Americans

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

1983 – 2009—Over thirty-five challenges in twenty states since the book’s publication.

2009—Challenged in the Newman-Crows Landing School District on a required reading list presented by the Orestimba High English Department.  A trustee questioned the qualifications of Orestimba staff to teach a novel depicting African American culture.  (CA)

A Hero Ain’t Nothin But a Sandwich by Alice Childress

1976 – 1994—Challenged five times in five states.  (NY, GA, TX, MD, SC)

1976—Removed from Island Trees School Union Free District High School library along with nine other titles because they were considered “immoral, anti-American, anti-Christian, or just plain filthy.”  (NY)

Rainbow Jordan by Alice Childress

1986—Challenged at the Gwinnett County public schools because of “foul language and sexual references.”  (GA)

1986—Banned from Spokane middle schools because the book’s storyline about a prostitute’s daughter was “too mature.”  (WA)

My House by Nikki Giovanni

1992—Challenged by the Duval County public school libraries because it contains the word “nigger” and was accused of containing excessive vulgarity, racism, and sex.  (FL)

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

1979—Responding to criticism from an anti-pornography organization, the Ogden School District restricted circulation of Hansberry’s play.  (UT)

Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron

1998—Challenged in Brooklyn because it was considered racially insensitive.  (NY)

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

1997—Challenged for sexual explicitness, but retained on the Stonewall Jackson High School’s academically advanced reading list in Brentsville.  A parent objected to the novel’s language and sexual explicitness.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

1995 – 2007—Challenged seven times in six states since its publication.  (FL, TX, ME, IL, ID, & KY)

2007—Challenged in the Coeur d’Alene School District.  Some parents say the book along with five others should require parental permission for students to read them.  (ID)

2013—Parent wants the book removed because she believes it depicts scenes of bestiality, gang rape and an infant’s gruesome murder, content she believes could be too intense for teenage readers.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

1994 – 2007—Challenged eleven times in nine states since publication.  (AK, PA, FL, MA, MD, NH, CA, CO, MI)

2005—Banned from the Littleton curriculum and library shelves after complaints about its explicit sex, including the rape of an eleven-year-old girl by her father.  (CO)

2013— The board of education president in Ohio is criticizing the inclusion of the book on the Common Core Standard’s recommended reading list for 11th-graders, labeling the controversial work “pornographic,” and wishes to ban it from the classroom.

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

1993 – 2009—Challenged in five states due to its sexually explicitly language.  (OH, GA, FL, MD, MI)

1998—Removed from the St. Mary’s County Schools’ approved text list by the school superintendent overruling a faculty committee recommendation.  Complaints referred to the novel as “filth,” “trash,” and “repulsive.”  (MD)

Sula by Toni Morrison

2000—Challenged on the Poolesville High School reading list because of the book’s sexual content and language.  On October 5, 2000, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Paul McGuckian dismissed the bid to band the work from the curriculum.  The school, however, decided to remove the book from the summer reading list.  (MD)


Push by Sapphire

2005—Challenged, but retained at Fayetteville High School despite a parent’s complaint that it was sexually explicit.  The complainant also submitted a list of more than fifty books, citing the books as too sexually explicit and promoting homosexuality.  (AL)

Alice Childress: Why she kicks ass

  • She was an American playwright, actor, and author, who was one of the first African-American women to have work professionally produced on the New York stage. She also became involved in social causes, and formed an off-broadway union for actors.
  • Among her literary works are Those Other People (1989) and A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich (1973). Also, she wrote a screenplay for the 1978 film based on A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich. Her 1979 novel A Short Walk was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
  • She described her writing as trying to portray the have-nots in a have society. In conjunction with her composer husband, Nathan Woodard, she wrote a number of musical plays, including Sea Island Song and Young Martin Luther King.
  • She acted in Abram Hill and John Silvera's On Strivers Row (1940), Theodore Brown's Natural Man (1941), and Philip Yordan's Anna Lucasta (1944).[4]There she won acclaim as an actress in numerous other productions, and moved to Broadway with the transfer of ANT’s hit comedy Anna Lucasta, which became the longest-running all-black play in Broadway history.
  • In 1965, she was featured in the BBC presentation The Negro in the American Theatre. From 1966 to 1968, she was awarded as a scholar-in-residence by Harvard University at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
  • Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White, was completed in 1962. The setting of the show is South Carolina during World War I and deals with a forbidden interracial love affair. Due to the scandalous nature of the show and the stark realism it presented, it was impossible for Childress to get any theatre in New York to put it up. The show premiered at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and later in Chicago. It was not until 1972 that it played in New York at the New York Shakespeare Festival. It was later filmed and shown on TV, but many stations refused to play it.
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 “But if we grow stronger…and rise higher than what’s pullin’ us down…Yes, rise higher than dirt…that fifty pound weight will lift and you’ll be free, free without anybody’s by-your-leave. Do something to wash out the sin.” 

In a career that spanned better than four decades, actress, novelist and playwright Alice Childress (October 12, 1916 – August 14, 1994) contributed significantly to the realist portrayal of the African American experience in America.