Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Preach it, Leonard Pitts, Jr.

I taught, pretty much successfully, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to many classrooms of students with diversity.

Note: I spent 33 years in the public school classroom.

When students are given the proper historical and literary context for works of fiction as well as biographical information on authors, the reading of a work can bring lively discussion as well as insights into history and humanity.

*holds back mini rant*

The thought that someone comes in 126 years later and alters that work of literature in "order not to offend" highlights the lack of confidence we have in teachers to present material as well as a lack of confidence in our smart, young people to determine how the author intended it -- my students usually concluding that Twain clearly showed the runaway slave Jim to be one of the only redeeming adults in the novel; heck, he might have been the only one.

Preach it, Leonard Pitts, Jr., Mark Twain is chuckling.

BTW: Thanks to my friend Laura for bringing the editorial to my attention. I don't get out much.

*tee hee*


  1. Did you contact Mr. Pitts? He would probably enjoy your blog!

  2. People are stupid. I once got in trouble for not editing out the n word from historical documents someone was compiling for publication. The compilier thought it was ok to change historical documents and had removed more than half of them. The publisher supported me, but it was pure craziness.

  3. Here, here! And Mr. Pitts was sure right about Mark Twain getting a good laugh out of this debacle!