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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Biloxi pulls ‘Mockingbird’ for use of ‘n-word’

Gregory Peck and Brock Peters starred in the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Biloxi (MS) eighth-graders won’t read To Kill a Mockingbird because someone complained, said Kenny Holloway, vice president of the school board. “There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable and we can teach the same lesson with other books,” he told the Sun Herald.

A reader told the Sun Herald the classic book was dropped “mid-lesson plan . . . due to the use of the ‘N’ word.”

I wonder what other books Biloxi will find to teach about racial injustice without making anyone uncomfortable.

Christina Torres writes about teaching To Kill a Mockingbird in Ed Week.

Walter Cunningham, who we have believed to be a kind friend of the Finch family, is the same man who plans to lynch Tom (and the same man who is convinced to call it off). The Maycomb ladies are educated and full of decorous habits, yet build their self-worth on colonialistic missions and continual judgements. Lee’s novel makes us question the difference between “nice” and “right,” and in doing so holds up a mirror to own actions in a way that, yes, can make us feel uncomfortable.

That’s educational, writes Torres.

By today’s standards, Atticus Finch is a “rape apologist,” wrote Ashe Schow (satirically) in 2014. In defending a black man accused of raping a white woman, Finch questions the accuser’s account, she writes.

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