On Monday, February 12, 2018, The Mark Twain House & Museum’s Director of Education, Dr. James Golden, traveled to Potomac, Maryland, to work with the teachers and students of The Bullis School. Their 11th-grade classes were reading Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and the school engaged the museum to support this effort. Dr. Golden lead classes through sessions exploring the long history of racism and oppression that prompted Twain to write this book. The classes discussed slavery, Jim Crow, Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights movement through the lens of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, alongside Mark Twain’s own personal history. In the same month that the Duluth, Minnesota Public Schools decided that this novel was not appropriate for high school students, The Mark Twain House & Museum was able to work with articulate, thoughtful, well-prepared teenagers who welcomed the difficult but vital conversations about racism, inequality, and American history that Adventures of Huckleberry Finn prompts.
This program, entitled Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: An American Story, is available for all schools as both an in-school outreach program from the museum or as a complement to a field trip. Please contact Dr. James Golden for more information.