Free Huck Finn
Free Huck Finn
The N-word was used 219 times in the American classic ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain. It was first published in 1884 but the time period for the story was before the Civil War; roughly 1835–1845. The theme of this well-worn, much loved book is racism and slavery; intellectual and moral education; and the hypocrisy of a ‘civilized’ society. If that’s the case, why would you want to scrub the 219 N-words used in the text, that actually demonstrate the very wrongs of racism in the first place?
A Few Thoughts.
If you want to expose racists, you have to show racists as they are, speaking as they would speak. ‘Huck Finn’ is great with this because it requires the reader to actually work through what’s wrong with a society that gives the most noble character in it – the slave, Jim – the same rights as pigs and chickens. Is the N-word and what’s behind it too hard to teach to kids in our schools? That’s where I first read ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’. If that’s the case, it’s wrong. Our schools should engage this shameful history because it’s a story that should be told.
Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain was a precise word-smith. He meant to use the N-word in his classics. It was utterly descriptive in expressing the racism of the day. In part, it’s what made Huck Finn, Huck Finn. What right do we have to change his work?
I understand that because there is still racism today, that for some the presence of the n-word in the book is offensive and even painful. But sanitizing the book is a poor attempt to change history. Using ‘slave’ instead of the N-word seems a weak and very PC attempt at making the theme of the book taste better.
Besides, you wouldn’t want to empower a black child – we want to ensure that black children will forever be subjugated by a word. Right?
By the way, the sanitized edition is scheduled for print soon. Thankfully, its not as though the original versions of this American classic disappear as a result of its existence.
Will we be sanitizing this too? Just curious.
50 Cent – Realest Nigga
Free Huck Finn.