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“Our” in this case refers mainly to White readers, like me.And I completely understood where those teachers were coming from.We read and discuss novels like , black-and-white movies about White (not Black) heroes.
The educators there were predominantly White women.
One 35-year classroom veteran estimated she had taught the book 20 to 25 times. ” she implored, punctuating her point by jabbing her index finger. Driven in no small part by the chiseled features and pacifying nobility of actor Gregory Peck’s portrayal, people talk about Finch in tones not only of reverence, but of attraction—and protectiveness.
“I was glad to begin to explore issues of racism, and racial injustice, as they existed in my reality, through a text that would talk about it.” Instead, he and his classmates “got a chance to romanticize Atticus Finch.” “We had an opportunity to see a young girl live in her innocence.
We had an opportunity to feel sorry when that innocence was disrupted by this reality that racism existed.
The Facing History folks allowed me to report on the training on the condition that I actively participate.
And so I found myself in snowy Chicago, sitting in a bright conference room alongside some of the hardest-working people in America: a dozen or so middle and high school teachers.
I’ve adored the book ever since my eighth-grade civics class; that was at an impressionable age for sorting ideals of manhood.
I read it again in college and several times since.
This is a struggle I have heard echoed repeatedly over the last year and a half as I’ve spoken with dozens of educators, parents, students, experts, and writers, trying to understand ’s place in our culture and classrooms. I’ve traveled to Lee’s Alabama hometown, Monroeville.
I’ve reported in Biloxi, Mississippi, one of the many places where the book has been pulled from school curricula.