Friday, January 7, 2011

This is Ok, but we need to change Huck Finn?

How bizarre is it that this is considered art, but Huck Finn has to be sanitized?  The book was written to prove a point, that racism can be overcome.  That is a story that needs to be told.  We need to stop white washing our history for our children.  Racism in the late 19th century was pretty much the norm, that is not saying that it is OK, but it was the times.  Children need to hear the story of what happened in this country in the days of slavery and the aftermath of it.  We will never overcome these things if we don't have honest discussions about them.  There is no historical evidence to say that Mark Twain was a racist, he was telling a story and chose words and characters that best fit the narrative he was trying to weave.  Why can't we just leave it at that. 



LL said...

The book is a classic - as is Uncle Tom's Cabin. Are influential negroes suggesting that the story be re-written to be kinder to Uncle Tom?

It all needs to remain as is because there was a point to the writing. As an author, I feel very strongly about that. You don't have to read what I wrote - but it stands as written.

Anonymous said...

The point, as you say, was to degrade Black people. Also, the book is FICTION, not history. There are enough true stories about the sordid history of America without a book calling us "nigger". We don't need it especially in the diverse 21st century which we now live. No more than you would agree to the term "faggot" for GAYS. How about that. Or Honkey and white trash for some of yall. Even though none of those names measure up to the depravation of the word 'nigger'. You don't have to read what I wrote, but it stands as written.

Just a conservative girl said...

You must not have read the book if you believe that it was to degrade black people. The importance of Jim in the book is to show that racism was about ignorance.

You also failed to answer my question. Why is ok for rap musicans to use the same word? Why is ok for some people to use the word but not others? Until you are willing to get rid of the word in rap you don't have a leg to stand on.

Context is everything. There is no proof that Mark Twain was a racist and he used to the word to weave a narrative about a white child learning that Jim was just as human as he was, regardless of what society told him to believe.

Understanding the history of the word is important. Our history is our history, burying it won't change it.

Huck Finn may not be actual people, but it is of historical importance all the same. It paints a picture of the times. Uncle Tom's Cabin wasn't history either, but it ended up creating history. Uncle Tom's Cabin pushed the conversation about ending slavery forward. It wasn't the cause of the civil war, but it was a compontent of it.

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