While not everyone is happy about the changes behind made to these Mark Twain's classics, others, like Twain scholar Alan Gribben who is working with the publisher on these new versions, believe that a controversy-free version will allow newer generations to enjoy these books.
The idea of a more politically correct Finn came to the 69-year-old English professor over years of teaching and outreach, during which he habitually replaced the word with 'slave' when reading aloud. Gribben grew up without ever hearing the 'n' word ('My mother said it's only useful to identify [those who use it as] the wrong kind of people') and became increasingly aware of its jarring effect as he moved South and started a family. "My daughter went to a magnet school and one of her best friends was an African-American girl. She loathed the book, could barely read it."
Despite the pros and cons of this decision, perhaps as some are suggesting, we should all stop using such a sensitive and historically-loaded word, not just from books, but from popular music also. I just fear that not talking about it, doesn't help people understand the real issues behind racism.
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