Rather than eliminate novels that are seen today as racist, they can be a valuable teaching vehicle (“I’m A Black Mother And Educator. Here’s Why I Let My Kids Read Racist books,” Huffington Post, Apr. 4). These books need to be understood in the time period in which they were published and the author’s intent.
Consider Huckleberry Finn, which is a staple of 11th-grade English classes. Although, Twain uses the N-word 219 times, he makes Jim the personification of morality. If the book were pulled from the curriculum solely because of the use of the N-word, students would be deprived of an opportunity to delve deeply into the author’s meaning.
Students can’t develop critical thinking if they are never given time to debate controversial issues.
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