Sigh. I understand and respect trigger warnings but this goes a step too far.
I would tell the students.
“Huck Finn is suppose to make you uncomfortable. Its an indictment of racism and slavery. This is a snapshot of the 1820s Twain is describing a world in which slavery was acceptable, runaway slaves were severely punished if not killed. A world that is our world, our near past. That would make anyone uncomfortable, the owners and slave trackers used language aimed at dehumanizing African Americans.
Yet there was a white boy named Finn who befriended a runaway slave named Jim. Finn learned via getting to know Jim the evils of slavery. Unlike the slave owners and trackers he got to know Jim as a person and realized Jim was a friend and no different then anyone else. A child chose friendship over turning his friend to the slave trackers.
Less then 40 years later the sons and grandsons of these slave owners and trackers will fight and die for the right to own slaves and the right to track down slaves.
We keep seeing on the news people embracing the Confederate flag. Reading Huck Finn exposes what type of world these Confederate flag lovers embrace not the Huck Finns or the Jims but these slave trackers and the cultural beliefs that embraced the slave owner and trackers and dehumanized the African American via slavery and language.
So yes this book will make you uncomfortable it will enrage you but most importantly it shows the wrong of slavery and racism and how a child realizes it and not just sees Jim as someone to aid but as a friend. This novel is not just an indictment but will give you insight on the mentality of the times.
Now read this novel and research real people who aided runaway slaves Write a paper and your thoughts on the novel and what you found researching . 10 pages, double spaced, use end notes not footnotes, typed or neatly hand written on my desk January 10. Start now and you will have plenty of time. Oh before anyone asks the end note pages are not part of the 15 pages.”