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Thread: Schools remove 'Huckleberry Finn' and 'To Kill a Mockingbird' from curriculum

  1. #261
    New Member SunsetRose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusher View Post
    Duluth drops 'Huckleberry Finn,' 'To Kill a Mockingbird' from school curriculum - StarTribune.com

    Students in Duluth will no longer automatically get schooled in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” or the trials of Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

    In an effort to be considerate of all students, the two novels, which contain racial slurs, will no longer be required reading in the district’s English classes next school year. They will still be available in the schools for optional reading, however.

    “The feedback that we’ve received is that it makes many students feel uncomfortable,” said Michael Cary, director of curriculum and instruction for the district. “Conversations about race are an important topic, and we want to make sure we address those conversations in a way that works well for all of our students.”


    ================================================== ============================================

    WTF? I read those books. Yes, it made me "uncomfortable". But, it also queued a discussion among the students and teacher about how times were different. The evolution of thoughts, ideas, and language. There is so much more positive that can come out of those books than negative, and it's not even close. We hear people coming down on younger generations for being "snowflakes", but who is actually teaching them to be this way?

    What a shame.
    I have a few favorite books I'd like to see offered in the high school curriculum.
    1) I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
    2) A choice of weapons by Gordon Parks
    3) Roots by Alex Haley

    Which books would you like to see added?
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  2. #262
    ~Standing My Ground~ Sassy's Avatar
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    There are times I don't see how it can be avoided for the intended impact. In this clip from the movie version of A Time to Kill, it's said only once, (but it is said, do not click on it if you don't want to hear it) in a way that shows it doesn't matter if it's the n word or 'Negro', 'black' or 'African American'. Words have evolved by the time of this novel, the times have evolved, but in some crucial ways, not so much.

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  3. #263
    ~Standing My Ground~ Sassy's Avatar
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    I think A Time To Kill is a good one for schools. Ripped my guts out, but to understand that there was a time, post-slavery, post Jim Crow even, where a little girl getting raped just would not be as meaningful because it was a black girl. The white rapists/attempted killers would have gotten off completely.

    Like To Kill a mockingbird, the white lawyer risks his career, and the safety of his own family. It tells a similar story of ethics and courage, while also not making the white savior a great guy in a post-racial, color blind way. He is one of the white people that sees blacks as 'others' and this is why his black defendant needs him, as he says in the clip above.

    The black character is not 'silent and simple' (a criticism of TKAM), nor does it lack his perspective. AND, it doesn't use the n-word 100 or more times. (HF uses it 212 times). (google doesn't want to tell me how many times TKAM uses it).
    Last edited by Sassy; 13th February 2018 at 01:34 PM.

  4. #264
    New Member SunsetRose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sassy View Post
    There are times I don't see how it can be avoided for the intended impact. In this clip from the movie version of A Time to Kill, it's said only once, (but it is said, do not click on it if you don't want to hear it) in a way that shows it doesn't matter if it's the n word or 'Negro', 'black' or 'African American'. Words have evolved by the time of this novel, the times have evolved, but in some crucial ways, not so much.

    This is a good movie. I have the book too. I like John Grisham---I have several of his books.

  5. #265
    ~Standing My Ground~ Sassy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunsetRose View Post
    This is a good movie. I have the book too. I like John Grisham---I have several of his books.
    It's very good, but I will never watch it again. I tried to watch the clip in court and I can't. I can't stand that he has them close their eyes and imagine the girl is white to give a shit. I'm not putting myself through that multiple times, but IMO it was important to read the novel, and the movie adaptation is very good and reaches more people.

    It's one thing to learn that black people didn't get justice, it's another thing to dramatize it and make it about a specific girl and her father - the point is for guts to be ripped, and come close to understanding how fucked up it all was - ugh! I am upset just looking up things about these books and the movie adaptations.

    PS, several of is books? One must read them all! Read the non-fiction one about the poor MI man that was put into a dungeon for a rape he didn't even commit.

  6. #266
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paris View Post
    Endless and mostly ridiculous.

  7. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by the watchman View Post
    blacks who have experience first hand and personally what it's like to be discriminated against, called the n-word, lived that life, etc, should defer a book written by a white author, describing her impressions of what that must be like, before commenting on whether or not others should be expose to the usage of the n-word. This coming from individual who admit that they, themselves, have no idea what it's like personally, as a black person, to experience this. So , let's me clear. You're all allowed to comment on when people , including persons of color, should be exposed to usage of the n-word, even though you don't have any idea what that's like, as a black person. But, no one, including people who know what that's like, including persons of color, are allowed to comment on that topic, unless they read a book written by someone else who has no idea what it's like. Have you all lost your fucking minds?
    No, we aren't. None of us get to decide exactly what messages we will see or not see, hear or not hear. If you want to opt your kid out of TKAM, then you should be able to do that. Your child can sit in the back and do work on one's own. But no, I don't think education should be a no-discomfort zone for every student. Much of my best education has come from things that made me extremely uncomfortable.
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  8. #268
    "Mr. Original". the watchman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    No, we aren't. None of us get to decide exactly what messages we will see or not see, hear or not hear. If you want to opt your kid out of TKAM, then you should be able to do that. Your child can sit in the back and do work on one's own. But no, I don't think education should be a no-discomfort zone for every student. Much of my best education has come from things that made me extremely uncomfortable.
    ever heard of Rosa Parks? Have you even read the article linked in the OP? If so, what makes you think you're more qualified to say what black kids ought to be reading in school than the NAACP? Or, in fact, the school district that's giving them a choice.

  9. #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by the watchman View Post
    ever heard of Rosa Parks? Have you even read the article linked in the OP? If so, what makes you think you're more qualified to say what black kids ought to be reading in school than the NAACP? Or, in fact, the school district that's giving them a choice.
    "Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter of the NAACP" is not "the NAACP." He's one guy whom a local paper ask for an opinion. Find me a resolution from the NAACP calling for To Kill A Mockingbird or any other books to be removed as a basic text in American high schools, and I'll listen. Stephan Witherspoon is one guy in Duluth. School districts are run by the elected representatives of a local area. They are and should be responsive to expressed local concerns, but I've attended school board meetings regarding other cases of censorship, and I've heard the most ridiculous reasoning come out of the mouths of school board members.

    EDIT: BTW, I notice that of the 12 people pictured as important officers in the Duluth, MN NAACP, three of them are named "Witherspoon:" http://duluthnaacp.org/about/. I'm not sure the organization represents a wide variety of opinions.
    Last edited by Rasselas; 13th February 2018 at 06:36 PM.

  10. #270
    "Mr. Original". the watchman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    "Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter of the NAACP" is not "the NAACP." He's one guy whom a local paper ask for an opinion. Find me a resolution from the NAACP calling for To Kill A Mockingbird or any other books to be removed as a basic text in American high schools, and I'll listen. Stephan Witherspoon is one guy in Duluth. School districts are run by the elected representatives of a local area. They are and should be responsive to expressed local concerns, but I've attended school board meetings regarding other cases of censorship, and I've heard the most ridiculous reasoning come out of the mouths of school board members.

    EDIT: BTW, I notice that of the 12 people pictured as important officers in the Duluth, MN NAACP, three of them are named "Witherspoon:" About - Duluth, MN Branch of NAACP. I'm not sure the organization represents a wide variety of opinions.
    you just rejected a representative from the NAACP saying that he agreed with the school board policy. If you're looking for disagreement with him I suggest you find it yourself. In the meantime, the district has responded and the policy is set. It really doesn't matter what your opinion of it is. What I do find interesting, however, is how many people you're having to disqualify in order for your opinion to carry water. My presumption is the matter was discussed satisfactorily within the community. Are there members of that community complaining that I missed?

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