Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mark Twain and the N-Word

Someone on facebook shared this post, which links to others, on a new edition of Huckleberry Finn that removes the N-word and the I (for Injun) word.  I agree they are hurtful words, and would not use them myself (the I word above spelled out for clarity).  I must admit that removing them from the book shocks my historian and librarian soul to the core.  Changing evils in a society requires, for me, understanding and not whitewashing the past, and my study of history, I believe, has shown me some of life's grittier realities and innoculated me againt nostalgia, while allowing me to appreciate life's more beautiful realities as well.  I passionately believe that only an informed and engaged citizenry can keep democracy alive, and whitewashing the past serves only to doom us to fail to learn from it.  The poster who argues that we should teach Huckleberry Finn, but to students of an age to understand that it is a part of history and to discuss society's changes, good and bad, has my support.

Posted via email from reannon's posterous

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