May 19, 2022

Alabama State Senator Calls for Removal of Toni Morrison Novel Aligned with Common Core


One week after facing an official GOP reprimand for failing to oppose Common Core, Sen. Bill Holtzclaw is calling upon state educators to ban a novel used in conjunction with the national standards.

Holtzclaw objects to “The Bluest Eye,” Toni Morrison’s first novel, being included on high school reading lists. He said was unaware whether the book was in high school libraries, but that he would also support removal from school libraries.

“The book is just completely objectionable, from language to the content,” said Holtzclaw, who points out the novel includes depictions of incest and child molestation.


Holztclaw said a constituent contacted him last week about “The Bluest Eye” in relation to Common Core. Holztclaw said he has since contacted State Superintendent Tommy Bice. The Alabama Department of Education was crafting a response and did not immediately reply to inquiries about Holtzclaw’s concerns.


Holtzclaw said he was not initially focused on removing the book from school libraries, but would probably support removal from library shelves.

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See Also: Some Parents Want ‘The Bluest Eye’ Banned From High School Reading List (KRDV-Denver; July 23, 2013)

See Also: Timeline Entry for 1994: The Bluest Eye (via ALA OIF)

UPDATE  9/5/2013 “Morrison’s ‘Bluest Eye’ Joins Wide Range of Books Challenged in Alabama Schools” (via School Library Journal)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.