Since this debate began, I've been saving and rereading all of the notes
about the Huck Finn issue. I am deeply disturbed that this debate continues
to surface, even now in 1996.
My initial thought is that it is ironic that Huck decides to "go to hell"
Jim, but the NAACP, the Nation of Islam, and the Urban League won't allow
to take a stand against slavery or racism. It seems as if these groups are
in coalition with the racists who wanted to ban the book in the 19th
century. Have they ever read the book??? And if they are reacting in this
way to Huck, how would they react to the even more cynical Pudd'nhead
I always thought it was the white racists who wanted to ban the book . . .
or small minded parents who were afraid their children would see that there
are ideas and individuals outside of their own realm of experience.
I know that many African-American scholars and authors have for the most
part seen the value of the book and I believe several have contributed
comments to the new Mark Twain collections -- Shellie Fisher Fishkin is
editing this???-- Do they have any influence with these groups??? Have
they spoken to this latest controversy?
As a final comment, I can only think that if Twain could hear this new
(continuing) controversy over his book, he'd be puzzled, but not surprised,
once again by the damned human race.