'It's Fifty Shades of Grey': Georgia parent demands ban of 'Homegoing' book from school libraries

'It's Fifty Shades of Grey': Georgia parent demands ban of 'Homegoing' book from school libraries
Michelle Brown has asked the Cherokee County school district to ban 'Homegoing' (Cherokee County School District/ Goodreads)

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GEORGIA: A parent who attended a Cherokee County school board meeting last week was asked to not read excerpts from ‘Homegoing’ as the content was “inappropriate” despite the novel being part of the district’s libraries. Michelle Brown attended the meeting last Thursday, March 17, while demanding answers as to why the book by Yaa Gyasi is accessible to high school-aged children.

By reading some parts of the novel, Brown reportedly tried to make board members understand that it was not suitable for the 42,000-student district. She read, “Excited now, he pushed into her as she squeezed her eyes as tightly as she could. Her tongue circled her lips. He pushed harder, his breath heavy and labored. She scratched his back and he cried out. She bit his ear and pulled his hair. There's lot more too it. It's Fifty Shades of Grey in CCSD.”



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But the parent, who reportedly does not have any kid studying in the district's high school, was interrupted by board member Patsy Jordan, who told her, “Excuse me, excuse me, we have children at home. It's live streaming, and it's really not appropriate for you to read that.” To which, Brown fired back: “Don't you find the irony in that? You're exactly saying exactly what I'm telling you! You're giving it to our children! I would never give this to my children!”

When another board member said, “I think we have gotten the gist of your information that you wanted to share with us this evening.” Brown replied, “So you're cutting me off?” The member then stated: “So you have the last 30 seconds - our attorney has said ‘Out of order.’”

Brown added: “I suggest that nobody submits any more books. It's not our job, it's your job to be getting these books. All this happened under your watch. Maybe if you spent more time reading these books instead of calculating the statistical demographics of those submitting the books, you wouldn't grooming our children. You're saying that we're embarrassing you? Well, you're embarrassing us and our kids. It's not OK! You are supposed to be giving them a safe space in school. These books? If I can't email them to you, if I can't say them, they shouldn't be in the school!”

Published in 2016, ‘Homegoing’ is a story of two half-sisters born in Ghana in the mid-18th century. The book’s description on Goodreads read: “Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.”

It adds, “From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.”

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Cherokee County School District told DailyMail.com that ‘Homegoing’ is not taught in the classroom, it’s actually in the media centers of four high schools. She also said that parents have the right to stop their kids from reading that book before adding, “Additionally, the speaker – who is not a parent of CCSD high school students, previously had been repeatedly advised that she could file a challenge to potentially remove the book from CCSD high school media centers, but she has not filed such a challenge.”


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