Huck Finn

No, I didn’t just read it.  I just came across an article shared by one of my MLS classmates about Huck’s makeover.  It makes me wonder why people challenge books on a racial basis.  Is it a bunch of white parents thinking their kids should ignore the history of the N-word?  Is it a bunch of white parents worrying about possible racial tensions they experienced (or, possibly now, their parents experienced) when the word was used in seriousness, to provoke and put people in their place?  Worrying that these tensions might come up because they’ve tried so hard to integrate their schools that now there are actually -gasp- black and white children learning together?  Or is it black parents worrying that their children should not have to hear these hurtful words?

Of course, there are more than two races in this conversation.  I also wonder how Americans of other backgrounds, especially backgrounds that have been the victims of sustained discrimination and recipients of special put-down words (which is almost everyone, even groups now considered white), feel about hearing these words, or not hearing them.  It’s a conversation I’ve never had (or taken) the opportunity to have with anyone of another race, but it’s an interesting question, and an interesting twist to a long conversation.

In the meantime, long live Huck and his original voice, for all he has to teach us, about our past and our future.  For those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.

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