I don’t think postponing when students read the book is revising history or censorship. There are much better ways to inform students about black history than reading a book with a subservient, shucking and jiving black character. For example, I teach my children about black history year round at home. We discuss slavery as well as inventions by black people. After all, you can’t know where you are going if you do not know your history. And of course, most students discuss black history/slavery during the month of February at school. I’m not in favor of revising history or denying that racism/Jim Crowe/slavery etc. existed.
Many Twain scholars have argued that the book is an attack on racism. It humanizes Jim and exposes the fallacies of the racist assumptions of slavery. However, the book falls short, especially in its depiction of Jim. Twain was unable to fully rise above the stereotypes of black people that white readers of his era expected and enjoyed, and therefore resorted to minstrel show-style comedy to provide humor at Jim’s expense, and ended up confirming rather than challenging late-19th century racist stereotypes.
To Kill A Mockingbird also contains the N word. I don’t have a problem with this book. It also contains stereotypical messages about women and minorities; however, it’s positive messages are much easier to detect. In other words, the good messages outweigh the bad ones. In the end, it teaches you about empathy and walking in another person’s shoes. I’m afraid that many people are unable to empathize.. .
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Analysis (nazmuslabs.com)
- Huckleberry Finn: A racist novel? (iammutmainna.wordpress.com)
- Kickstarting Comics – Looking Back (plus lessons for backers and creators) (graphicnovelguy.wordpress.com)
- Bruce Ramsey: Mark Twain’s ‘Huckleberry Finn’ a novel worth saving (seattletimes.com)
- Heroes and Hashtags: How 9 Fictional Characters Would Use Twitter (neolane.com)