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What if you were the only African American student sitting in an otherwise all white classroom reading the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. How would this feel to know that your race possibly your own ancestors were treated the way that it was depicted in this book by the ancestors of your fellow students. By reading a book assigned as class material, a certain friction and tension has been created in the classroom. Anger and hatred can build and has be the constant abuse and harshness shown to African Americans in the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. The
“N” word has been used over 200 times. In reading this book, one can get the impression that racist actions are all right and even allowed.
We are supposed to be a society that is above and beyond the racist treatment of others.By making this book mandatory reading for almost all high school and college english students all we do is drudge up the past. English classes can survive withou such controversy being reintroduced year after year. All the same we can not let ourselves shy away from the uncomfortable just because it hurts to face it. Ignoring the problem of racism will not make it go away. It needs to be confronted and dealt with in a responsible and well informed manner. Without historical and literary backround it would be simply impossible to find a solution. For authors the bigger the market the harder it is to handle controversy. The solution is not to bury our head in the sand or close our eyes and pretend that prejudice,slavery and racism never existed. Let’s face it, it has,
it does and we must not hide and burn books just to be politically cor
rect. Ray Bradbury recognized the danger of carrying one’s political
correctness too far — one confuses self confidence with self blinding.
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