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…

For Teachers: A Video of Selected Chapters with Illustrations from “Huckleberry Finn”

The NewSouth Editions of Huckleberry Finn are not illustrated. Feel free to use this video (with any edition) to give an overview of Huckleberry Finn in selected chapters with modified illustrations from the first edition.  Click on the following link for a video plays through.  https://s3.amazonaws.com/embed.animoto.com/play.html?w=swf/production/vp1&e=1515606154&f=JE4uw0SCJFpN2w6HDKjI9A&d=0&m=a&r=360p+480p&volume=100&start_res=0p&i=m&asset_domain=s3-p.animoto.com&animoto_domain=animoto.com&options=autostart If you would like to pause the video during class, use…

“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…