Born to Trouble: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Wednesday, January 26 at 9pm 90 minutes
One of America's most beloved and banned books, Mark Twain's novel was attacked for its "low morals" when it was published in 1885. Later it became part of the American literary canon, only to become controversial again on the grounds of racism -- a charge that is still debated in schools today. Is Huck Finn a brilliant satire against racism, or does it reinforce stereotypes?
The painting is now regarded as a masterpiece, but scandal surrounded the 1865 Paris exhibition of Olympia. Manet had dared to paint visual art's most universal subject, the nude, as an unidealized woman -- a prostitute who boldly stares directly at the viewer. By flouting the accepted ideas of beauty and propriety in art, Manet outraged audiences. Today's visual artists continue to test society's conventions, stirring up new controversies for the modern age.
The mass appeal of movies, including their graphic portrayals of sex and violence, has made them a target of censors since the medium's early days. In the 1930s, Hollywood studios enforced a set of guidelines for movie content known as the Production Code to answer growing charges of immorality. The Code existed for more than twenty years. As feature films still have the power to provoke controversy, the question remains: Do movies reflect -- or influence -- social behavior?
In its early years, jazz faced resistance across America. Like rap today, jazz was considered a dangerous influence on young people and society. It featured improvisation and the liberating rhythms of the black American experience over classical music forms. As jazz's popularity grew, some fought to suppress the music on moral grounds -- but it finally won acceptance as an art form.
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