Why Huckleberry Finn Should Not Be Taught In Public Schools

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Throughout the United States, there are books that many school districts despise teaching and have teachers not teach, some reasons being due to obscene language and controversial topics like racism and slavery. Those reasons can make this book uncomfortable teach because some teachers don’t know how to address these topics to their students and the fear of making students upset. However, these controversial issues in books stem from history; one of those novels being, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain. High schools like Friends’ Central School in Philadelphia (Akkoc) and all Minnesota school districts (Sabur) have decided to not include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in their 11th grade teaching curriculum’s, due…show more content…
The novel tells a story of a young white boy, who is abused by his alcoholic father in a time where African Americans were not seen as humans. This novel also signifies a personal change for the protagonist, Huck Finn, because he sees a Jim, a runaway slave, as a living being rather than dirt. That period still exemplified the hate and racism shown towards African Americans and addresses abuse. School districts don’t like the frequent usage of the “N-word”, and who really does? It’s a derogatory slur as well as insult, and it certainly wasn’t used as a compliment towards African Americans. However, as writer David Bradley states, “We cannot avoid being hurt. Language hurts people, reality hurts people…. If the word ‘nigger’ did not have meaning today we wouldn’t care that it was in [Huck Finn]. The hurt is that it still does have meaning…” (Maine Public)
Maine Public article on teaching Huck Finn thoroughly explores why this book is difficult to teach but offers tips on how to address the language of it. It also mentions ways of talking to a class that is mixed, dominantly white or African American, or if one or the other is the minority. The use of the n-word would be in a class setting and teachers will have to be open about the meaning and history behind it. They also must be clear on the usage of the word in and out of class, because it shouldn’t be used as an insult towards another
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