I wish to comment on the article about the decision remove a classic book like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” from the curriculum at LTHS.
There is no question that the book accepts the racism existing during that time period and is graphic in its description, using the n-word many times, and that racism is wrong and nobody should condone it, not ever. However, the story is history in its description of the times and places it describes. It’s about a boy’s incredible adventures on the Mississippi River. It tells the truth, that racism existed, but the story does not promote it.
I read both “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn” as a young boy and loved them and never considered them anything other than what Mark Twain intended, adventure stories. I have visited Hannibal, Missouri, Tom Sawyer’s and Huck Finn’s home, just across the Mississippi River from Quincy, Illinois (in 1900, the second largest Illinois city). If you’ve read the books, it’s a fun place to see.
I believe it’s extremely important to learn about history and the classics do a wonderful job of fulfilling that task. It’s so important that young minds learn. How can we make decisions about life if we remain ignorant?
Reading a book like “Huck Finn” that contains racist language or attitudes, does not mean that we condone it but we can still learn from it. Let’s not put our head in the sand. In my opinion, the decision to eliminate “Huck Finn” is narrow-minded and clearly wrongheaded.
Michael E. Sammon