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100-year-old woman criticizes Florida’s book ban, creates quilt to show opposition

By Danielle Seat

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    MARTIN COUNTY, Florida (WPTV) — The Florida book ban controversy sparked a heated and hours-long discussion at Tuesday night’s Martin County School Board meeting.

Former educators, students and parents spoke in favor of and in opposition to the ban.

“There’s no educational value acquired from a library full of erotica,” a woman said at the meeting.

One individual in particular brought with her 100 years of experience.

“I care about this community and our country,” Grace Linn, a Martin County resident, said.

To show her opposition to the book ban, she made a quilt and brought it with her to the Martin County School Board meeting.

Linn said on it are books that have been either targeted or banned.

“When I showed this to adult women, they’ll say, ‘Oh, no they didn’t do that to The Color Purple.'”

Linn’s wisdom dates past some history books.

“I was born the year after women got the right to vote,” Linn said. “My first husband was killed in action in World War II. He died for freedom. Freedom is so important.”

But because she won’t be around forever, she said she’s making it her mission to ensure lessons learned in the past won’t be forgotten.

“One of the freedoms that the Nazis crushed was the freedom to read the books that they banned,” Linn said. “History will repeat itself if you don’t know history. History needs to be told, and everyone needs to know what went on in the past.”

Her fear is that, as books are taken off the shelves, the life lessons they possess are taken along with them.

“Banning books and burning books are the same,” she said. “Both are done for the same reason — fear of knowledge.”

Several of the residents who spoke Tuesday night expressed a need to form a committee where books could be reevaluated and reconsidered by a larger and more diverse group of people.

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