This February NewSouth Books will publish censored versions of “Huckleberry Finn” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” that substitute racial epithets like “nigger” “injun” and “half-breed” with “slave” “Indian” and “half-blood” respectively.
An introduction by Auburn University professor Alan Gribben contends that “even at the level of college and graduate school, students are capable of resenting textual encounters with this racial appellative.” While children do not even have the opportunity to read the books, which have been banned from many schools for their language. “I’m by no means sanitizing Mark Twain,” Gribben asserts. “The sharp social critiques are in there. The humor is intact. I just had the idea to get us away from obsessing about this one word, and just let the stories stand alone.”
But eliminating all the racist words from a racist history will be about as subtle as the Family Guy episode “I am Peter, Hear me Roar” where Peter’s great grandfather, Huck Griffin, learns that even slaves have rights.