What are we letting go of in ‘Letting Go of Literary Whiteness’?

Carlin Borsheim-Black and Sophia Tatiana Sarigianides, authors of Letting Go of Literary Whiteness: Antiracist Literature Instruction for White Students, explain the shift in perspective needed for true, anti-racist literary instruction. “A critical focus on Whiteness . . . helps us to see that Huck, like other celebrated literary characters (e.g., Atticus), is a White savior character whose decision to go to hell on Jim’s behalf gets lauded through our teaching in part because it represents White desires to feel and be seen as a “good White.” From this perspective, too much of a focus on this moment—of Huck’s seemingly selfless decision to save a runaway slave—shields so much more that is going on in the text that, without sufficient attention through our teaching, may work to perpetuate racism.”  To read the entire article, click here.

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