The N-Word in the Classroom

“Huckleberry Finn” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” Dropped by School District Over N-word”—one version of headlines on February 8, 2018 in USA Today, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Washington Post, and other newspapers. These headlines referred to the schools in Duluth, Minnesota, but similar decisions are occurring elsewhere. To say that the n-word is controversial today…

“Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Expelled: Censorship and the Classroom” (2017 essay)

“Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Expelled: Censorship and the Classroom,” Critical Insights: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,  ed. R. Kent Rasmussen (Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2017), pp. 65-80.   Link to Critical Insights book “Professor Gribben himself recounts, for the first time at length in print, the full story of the NewSouth editions. He also discusses the impact…

The Big Read in 2010 (Video)

The idea of removing the n-word from Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn–by translating this detested racial slur as “slave” instead–occurred to me after I completed a tour of libraries in Alabama and Georgia to promote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for the NEA Big Read program. Teachers approached me in every town and said that they could not (or would not) teach…