Huck Finn’s New Look

04 Jan

I really want thoughts and opinions on this topic.

Basically, two scholars are going to edit Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and remove the “N” word.  It will be replaced by the word “slave” instead.  Any offensive references to Native Americans will be removed as well. Read the article here…

I actually have an interesting take on this. It is always a touchy subject anytime the use of the “N” word is involved.  Call me a hypocrite if you want, but when it comes to my use of the word, I’m very conscience of when I use it and who I use it around.  You will never hear me use it in mixed company. Even if we’re in the car bumpin’ the latest Drake track, you won’t hear me say it.  I’m only speaking for me, so don’t assume everyone adopts this philosophy.  When it comes to the book, though, I’m not a fan of taking out the words.  If anything, I see it as a reflection of past times and current times.  Although we have a lot of work to do as a society, we truly have come a long way.  Note: There is no such thing as a post-racial society.  If parents, teachers, and administrators are so worried about students reading those words, take the opportunity to teach about them.  I realize that the book has been banned by several districts, but I find that to be irresponsible.  Believe me, the music they listen to is much worse.

I’m concerned about the precedent editing this book will set as well.  Today, it’s Huck Finn. Tomorrow it will be Shakespeare. Next week, they’ll be rewriting and omitting the disturbing past of this country. Folks, the world ain’t sunshine and rainbows. Shading and hiding the harsh realities of the world will not get kids/students ready for what they will surely experience firsthand.  Do I like the use of the word in this book? Absolutely not.  However, it is an ugly truth in this country. I think kids/students can learn a lot from it.

How do you feel?



Posted by on January 4, 2011 in Literature, Philosophy


6 responses to “Huck Finn’s New Look

  1. MichaelYoungHistory

    January 4, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    I totally agree. Leave that shit in there! Somewhere Mark Twain is turning in his grave. Sure, its offensive, but its really a sign of the times (sadly). Plus, your point on the slippery slope is SPOT ON! Whats next? Fredrick Douglass’ work? Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Not to mention that hearing white people avoid the “N Word” was the only fun part about reading that book in school…

  2. The King's Law

    January 4, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    It looks like we’re living in a softened version of “Fahrenheit 451”. Truth is, when i was in my 6th Grade GT English Class, my teacher prefaced our communal reading sessions with this:

    “There is an offensive word in this book. It’s important to realize the historical context in which the word is used. However, if you are offended, or think somebody will be offended by saying the word aloud, you can use the word ‘person’ instead.”

    Much like 23, I decided not to read the word in mixed company, even though i was the only black kid in the class, and had the sole right to iterate the word…. or so I thought…

    One white girl read a whole chapter and recited the phrase “Nigger Jim” with such vitriol. I was against the word being in the book then, but it built character for me.

    Fuck these punk ass parents trying to mute the evidences of social wrongs. Next thing you know slavery will be replaced in all history books with “servitude”… Call a spade a spade… Jim was a nigger (in historical context) and it actually adds to the emphasis on Huck and Jim’s relationship despite racial differences.

    I couldn’t see “To Kill a Mockingbird” being edited either…. just my opinion…


  3. Typo-Critical

    January 4, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. So basically, now kids who are taught about Huck Finn will go through life thinking (briefly, anyway) that “slave” was the derogatory word.

    I’m not a fan of the N-word. I don’t use it and I don’t read it aloud in class; however, as all have mentioned above me, there’s a significant historical context in which Huck Finn must be read. And that historical context requires that the N-word be used to communicate the hatred and debasement Black people suffered at that time.

    If this shit (because that’s what it is) gets to slide, you know what they’re coming for next, right? Not so much the editing of future books, but continued editing of this one. By 2020, Jim and Huck’s “friendship” will be non-existent; it’ll just be a “boy and his slave” as opposed to the “nigger who helped shape Huck’s growth.”

    You cannot erase the past. And it is unfair to try to act like it never happened. That’s like taking the whipping scenes and use of the N-word out of Roots: we want to desensitize things, at the cost of creating a “more peaceful history” that did not exist.

    • The King's Law

      January 7, 2011 at 3:59 PM

      HAHAHA… I feel him tho… I’ve been called nigger all my life in some way, shape or form. The day I’m recognized as “slave”… I have bigger things to worry about apparently.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: