General Hospital

Before They Were Soap Stars: Réal Andrews Takes on Book Burners

General Hospital Réal AndrewsGeneral Hospital Réal Andrews

News that Réal Andrews is heading back to General Hospital in the role of Marcus Taggert prompted us to recall one of his earliest acting jobs…which still has resonance to what’s going on in the world today.

Réal Andrews: Take a Stand

Back in 1987, the issue of banning books from school libraries was in the news. An Afterschool Special titled The Day They Came To Arrest the Book took on the topic from a variety of angles.

And who was that leading the debate? Why, non-other than future General Hospital star Réal Andrews, who played Gordon, an African-American student who, along with his parents, felt so uncomfortable with the language used in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, that they lobbied to have the classic removed from shelves.

Side of History

What’s that? Andrews’s character was pro book banning? But isn’t that wrong? Well, not when a book upsets a marginalized group. Unless it leads to a slippery slope where anyone offended by any book can advocate for its removal. But who gets to decide whose hurt feelings should be taken into consideration, and whose hurt feelings should be dismissed?

Réal Andrews: Big Deal

Those are some pretty heavy topics for an afterschool special to tackle in under an hour. Other students got involved. Other parents got involved. Teachers. Librarians. School board members. Everyone got to speak their piece…even as peace failed to surface and the small town turned into a war zone.

Why Now?

Twenty-five years later, we are still struggling with the same issues as the ones brought up in The Day They Came To Arrest the Book. Everyone feels slighted, everyone feels unheard, everyone feels marginalized. How did Réal Andrews and company solve their book banning dilemma? Go to the link to see for yourself!

General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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