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‘Huckleberry Finn’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Banned from School Curriculum in Duluth, MN

In an effort to be considerate and sensitive of all students, schools in Duluth, MN will drop two classic American novels “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and the Pulitzer Prize winning “To Kill a Mockingbird.” from it’s curriculum.

Both books which contain racial slurs, will no longer be required reading in the district’s English classes next school year.

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. We’re doing this out of consideration of the impacts on our students and specifically different groups of students in our schools, and especially our communities of color.”

Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter of the NAACP, called the move “long overdue.”

The literature has “oppressive language for our kids” Witherspoon said, and school should be an environment where children of color are learning equally. There are other novels with similar messages that can be taught, he said.

“Our kids don’t need to read the ‘N’ word in school,” Witherspoon said. “They deal with that every day out in the community and in their life. Racism still exists in a very big way.”

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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1 thought on “‘Huckleberry Finn’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Banned from School Curriculum in Duluth, MN”

  1. The PC police are at it again. Racism and Discrimination are a part of the history of this country.A history we are ashamed of. However this crusade to erase, re-write and remove reminders of that history I believe is more damaging. We cannot change the past. It has already been written. I believe a more healthy approach is the inclusion of these books in curriculum and having a frank and open discussion of the time and setting surrounding these books. Mr Witherspoon of the Deluth chapter of the NAACP said:“Our kids don’t need to read the ‘N’ word in school,” Witherspoon said. “They deal with that every day out in the community and in their life. Racism still exists in a very big way.” If he, Mr Witherspoon thinks the “N’ word is that offensive. Why not crusade to have people of color stop using it? Why not discourage the discrimination people of color display towards other ethnic groups? After all people are carefully taught to discriminate, to hate, to fear.

    The removal of these books. The recent move to remove statues from public display are not the answer. I am not sure there is an answer that is 100% perfect. However to forget our history by ditching it under a bush or glossing it over. Only sets the foundation for that history to repeat itself.

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