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'Beloved' Celebrated In Bowie State Read-A-Thon

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'Beloved' is often the subject of book bans for its graphic depictions of sex and violence.
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'Beloved' is often the subject of book bans for its graphic depictions of sex and violence.

A major work of American literature that's generated controversy in Virginia is now generating a counter-protest in Maryland.

Beginning at 9 a.m. this morning, students, staff and faculty at Maryland's Bowie State University are taking turns reading excerpts from the 1987 novel "Beloved" in 10 minute increments. Written by Tony Morrison, the book chronicles the life of an escaped slave during the Civil War era. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is considered one of the best works of American fiction in the last quarter century.

The book also contains graphic depictions of violence and sex. That led a parent in Fairfax County to challenge the use of the book district-wide. The mother said her son was bothered by the novel, and she wants parents to be notified when graphic material is assigned.

The Read-a-Thon at Bowie State is meant as a protest, to what organizers call a move to ban great literature. It's also meant to honor Morrison's birthday during Black History Month.

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