Huck Finn Teacher's Guide
Culture Shock General Resources

Web Sites
Note: Web addresses and information contained in the Web sites are subject to change.

Africans in America
The companion site to the PBS series offers hundreds of primary source documents, scholarly essays, stories from the series, teaching activities, and more.

American Slave Narratives
Narratives of former slaves of the ninteenth century, documented from 1936 to 1938.

Apple Learning Interchange's Curriculum Resource for Huck Finn
Directs students to do several activities to culminate in a presentation to a Board of Education regarding whether or not Huck Finn should be removed from the classroom.

Huck Finn and Censorship Teacher Cyberguide
A supplemental unit to Huck Finn developed as part of the Schools of California Online Resources for Educators Project. Written by Nancy Middlemas, it suggests creative activities to respond to charges that the novel is racist, as well as links to primary sources.

Mark Twain Forum
An online forum/news group of interest to Twain scholars and specialists.

Mark Twain Home Page
This site contains complete texts of some of Twain's works, as well as biographies, literary criticism, analyses of censorship, and links to many other Twain sites. (Note: The site will be changing its name to

Mark Twin in His Times
Archival materials, including images, reviews, and article, which focus on Mark Twain and how his works were created, defined, and marketed.

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Teaching ideas, policy statements, books, discussions, and other kinds of support for English teachers. Their new American Collection site contains many author links, including Mark Twain.

Slavery in the United States
Part of the American Memory project of the Library of Congress, this site provides extensive primary source documents from 1790 to 1865.

The Trial of Mark Twain
English teacher Diane Walker developed this exercise for students to do after completing a unit on Huck Finn. In addition to teaching tips, it sets up the roles (judge, clerk, jury, witnesses, prosecution, defense, etc.) and the procedure of the trial.


American Booksellers Association
828 S. Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591
This trade organization for booksellers includes the Foundation for Free Expression, which co-sponsors Banned Books Week and other anti-censorship activities.

American Library Association
50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2795
The ALA supports intellectual freedom and free access to libraries and library materials through its Office of Intellectual Freedom. It publishes pamphlets, articles, posters, newsletters, and the Banned Books Week Resource Kit (updated annually).

The Anti-Defamation League
823 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
An organization devoted to combating anti-Semitism and bigotry. Resources for teachers include A World of Difference® Institute, an anti-bias training and curriculum.

Mark Twain Circle of America
Professor John Bird, Executive Coordinator
English Department
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, SC 29733
An organization for scholars, teachers, and others interested in Mark Twain and his work; sponsers meetings about Twain at the Modern Language Association and the American Literature Association conventions, and publishes a quarterly newsletter.

Mark Twain House
351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105
The Mark Twain House, a museum and research center located in the nineteen-room mansion custom built for Samuel L. Clemens in Hartford, Connecticut, offers tours of the home where Twain lived with his family from 1874 to 1891. The mission of the Mark Twain House, which is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, is to foster an appreciation of Mark Twain as one of the nation's defining cultural figures and to demonstrate the continued relevance of his work, life, and times. Contact the Education Department at extension 36 for teacher resources.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
4805 Mt. Hope Drive
Baltimore, MD 21215
410/358-3813 fax
An advocacy organization dedicated to achieving equal rights and eliminating racial prejudice.

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
1111 W. Kenyon Road
Urbana, IL 61801
NCTE, a professional organization of over 70,000 English and language arts teachers, includes educators from elementary school through college throughout the country. It provides a variety of resources, including Web site forums, publications, teaching ideas, policy statements, and professional development meetings and conferences.

People for the American Way
2000 M Street, NW
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
PFAW distributes educational materials, leaflets, and brochures to promote diversity and tolerance and publishes an annual report on censorship attempts in schools.

Teaching Tolerance
400 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36104
The national education project of the Southern Poverty Law Center helps educators foster equity, respect, and understanding in the classroom and beyond. Resources include a bi-annual magazine and video-and-text teaching kits.


There are a vast number of articles and books on Mark Twain, Huck Finn, and censorship. In addition to the articles and books used in the curriculum, you may want to use some of the selected titles for additional reading.

Sources for the Huck Finn in Context Curriculum Companion Readings

  • Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Interpretations of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986.

  • Champion, Laurie, ed. The Critical Response to Mark Twain's Huck Finn. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.

  • Dudley, William, ed. African Americans: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1997.

  • Fishkin, Shelley Fisher, ed. The Oxford Mark Twain. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

  • Goodheart, Lawrence, ed. Slavery in American Society. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath & Co., 1993.

  • Graff, Gerald, and James Phelan. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Case Study in Critical Controversy. Boston: Bedford Books, 1995.

  • Johnson, Claudia Durst. Understanding Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996.

  • Jordan, Winthrop D. The White Man's Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.

  • Leonard, James et al. Satire or Evasion? Black Perspectives on Huckleberry Finn. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1992.

  • Mintz, Steven. African-American Voices: The Life Cycle of Slavery. Revised edition. St. James, NY: Brandywine Press, 1982.

  • Mullane, Deirdre, ed. Crossing the Danger Water: Three Years of African-American Writing. New York: Anchor Books, 1993.

  • Powell, Thomas. The Persistence of Racism in America. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1992.

  • Salem, Dorothy. The Journey: A History of the African American Experience. Dubuque: IA: Kendall/Hunt, 1997.

  • Sullivan, Charles, ed. Children of Promise: African American Literature and Art for Young People. New York: Harry A. Abrams, Inc., 1991.


  • David, Beverly and Ray Sapirstein. "Reading the Illustrations in Adventures of Hucklebnerry Finn, edited by Shelley Fisher Fishkin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

  • "EJ Forum: Mark Twain's Jim: Role Model, Stereotype, Invisible Man?" English Journal (November 1993). An issue devoted to exploring the character of Jim.

  • Francis, Allen. "The 'N' Word: It Just Slips Out." In Starting with I, edited by Andrea Estepa and Phillip Kay. New York: Persea Books, 1997. A first-person essay by an African American high school student.

  • Miner, Barbara. "Reading, Writing, and Censorship." Rethinking Schools (Spring 1998). A look at censorship in schools.

  • Morrow, Lance. "Huckleberry Finn and Censorship." In Readings on Mark Twain, Literary Companion to American Authors, edited by Bruno Leone. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996. An overview of the controversy.

  • Smiley, Jane, "Say It Ain't So, Huck: Second Thoughts on Twain's 'Masterpiece.'" Harper's (January 1996). A controversial article comparing Huck Finn with Uncle Tom's Cabin.

  • Thompson, Carmen R. "That Black Girl." Seventeen (December 1996). A first-person account of a teenager's discovery of her racial identity.

  • "Twain and His Novel." The New Yorker (June 26 & July 3, 1995). A collection of commentaries on Huck Finn.


African American History

  • "The African Literary Tradition." In African-American Literature, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1992. A study of the oral tradition, folk tales, and other literature from Africa.*

  • Blassingame, John W. The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South. Revised edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. A classic study of the life and culture of American slave communities.*

  • Bradley, David and Shelley Fisher Fishkin, eds. Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in America. New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1997. A compilation of information.

  • Feelings, Tom. The Middle Passage. New York: Dial Books, 1995. A pictorial essay on the Middle Passage.

  • Franklin, John Hope, and Alfred A. Moss, Jr. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994. An in-depth history of African Americans.

  • Frazier, Thomas R., ed. Afro-American History: Primary Sources. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1988. An introduction to the history of African Americans through historical documents.

  • Gates, Jr., Henry Louis, and Nellie McKay. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1997. A comprehensive compilation of writings with historical and literary background.

  • Gossett, Thomas. Race: The History of an Idea in America. Edited by Arnold Ramperad and Shelley Fisher Fishkin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

  • Harding, Vincent. There Is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America. Revised edition. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991. An examination of African Americans from enslavement to the Civil War.

  • Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas. The African American Family Album. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. A pictorial and oral history of the African American experience for young people.

  • Huggins, Nathan Irvin. Black Odyssey: The African-American Ordeal in Slavery. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. A history of African Americans from slavery to emancipation.

  • Hurmence, Berlina. Slavery Time: When I Was Chillun. New York: Putnam, 1998. This young adult book provides twelve slaves narratives selected from more than two thousand collected by the WPA in 1936.

  • Johnson, Charles, Patricia Smith, and the WGBH Series Research Team. Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1998. The companion guide to the PBS series, this features twelve short stories, a historical narrative, and primary sources.

  • Myers, Walter Dean. Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. A history of African Americans and their fight for rights, geared to middle and high school students.

  • Newman, Richard, and Marcia Sawyer. Everybody Say Freedom: Everything You Need to Know about African-American History. New York: Penguin, 1996. Detailed information in a question-and-answer format that will appeal to students.

  • Whittemore, Katharine, and Gerald Marzorati, eds. Voices in Black & White: Writing on Race in America from Harper's Magazine. New York: Franklin Square Press, 1993. A collection of articles on race by writers and critics, including Mark Twain.

Censorship, Free Speech, and Intellectual Freedom

  • American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. Censorship and First Amendment Rights: A Primer. Tarrytown, NY: American Booksellers Foundation, 1992. A how-to book about dealing with censorship issues.

  • Beahm, George, ed. War of Words: The Censorship Debate. Kansas City, MO: Andrews and McMeel, 1993. A collection of essays presenting various viewpoints on censorship issues.

  • Blanchard, Margaret. Revolutionary Sparks: Freedom of Expression in Modern America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. A comprehensive history of freedom of speech from after the Civil War to the 1990s.

  • Burress, Lee. Battle of the Books: Literary Censorship in the Public Schools, 1950-1985. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Publishers, 1989. Discusses who are the censors and what their objections are, including an extensive list of challenged books.

  • Demac, Donna, A. Liberty Denied: The Current Rise of Censorship in America. New York: PEN American Center, 1988. This overview includes a chapter on censorship in schools and libraries.

  • Foerstel, Herbert. Banned in the U.S.A. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. A survey of censorship in schools and libraries, as well as a discussion of the fifty most frequently banned books in the 1990s.

  • Hentoff, Nat. Free Speech for Me -- But Not for Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other. New York: HarperCollins, 1992. An examination of contemporary censorship issues, including a chapter about Huck Finn.

  • Hit List: Frequently Challenged Books for Young Adults. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 1996. Background information on twenty-six books that are often challenged in schools or libraries.

  • Mark, Dave. 50 Ways to Fight Censorship. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1991. A guide to social action concerning censorship.

  • Orr, Linda, ed. Censorship: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1990. A collection of pro- and con- essays on various aspects of censorship and freedom of speech.

  • Steffens, Bradley. Censorship. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, 1996. An exploration of censorship issues for young people.

  • Zeinert, Karen. Issues in Focus: Free Speech, From Newspapers to Music Lyrics. Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1995. An overview of free speech issues aimed at young people.

Mark Twain and Huck Finn

  • Arac, Jonathan. Huckleberry Finn as Idol and Target: The Functions of Criticism in Our Time. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1997. An examination of the history and scholarship of the Huck Finn controversy.

  • Bloom, Harold, ed. Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. A Bloom's Views Contemporary Literary Views Book. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1996. Literary essays on Huck Finn.*

  • Chadwick-Joshua, Jocelyn. The Jim Dilemma: Reading Race in Huckleberry Finn. Jackson, MI: University of Mississippi Press, 1998. Explores the controversy and presents rationales for teaching the book.

  • Doyno, Victor. Writing Huck Finn: Mark Twain's Creative Process. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991. An examination of Twain's literary style and artistry.

  • Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. A look at who Twain was and his presence in contemporary culture.

  • Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. How African American voices, language, and rhetoric contributed to the genesis of Huck Finn.

  • Inge, M. Thomas, ed. Huck Finn Among the Critics: A Centennial Selection. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1985. A collection of essays and critiques, from the nineteenth century to today.*

  • Kaplan, Justin. Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1966. A well-known biography of Mark Twain.

  • Leonard, James, ed. Making Mark Twain Work in the Classroom. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999. A collection of articles about teaching Twain.

  • Rasmussen, R. Kent. Mark Twain A to Z. New York: Oxford University Press, 199x. A compendium of information about Twain.

  • Sattelmeyer, Robert, and J. Donald Crowley, eds. One Hundred Years of Huckleberry Finn: The Boy, His Book, and American Culture. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1985. Twenty-five essays by scholars reassess the novel's status in American culture.

  • Sundquist, Eric. To Wake the Nations; Race in the Making of American Literature. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1993. How black and white literature form a single American literary tradition.

*Also mentioned in the Huck Finn in Context curriculum.


Rationales for Challenged Books (CD-ROM). NCTE in partnership with IRA. 1998. Provides rationales for over 170 books and films, including reviews, plot, classroom assignments, and teaching objectives and methods. To order contact NCTE at 1-800-369-6283.

Educational Materials From WGBH

Huck Finn Coursepack (Available after January 2000)
This comprehensive coursepack includes a copy of Huck Finn in Context: A Teaching Guide, Born to Trouble: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn video, and a copy of all companion readings cleared for classroom use.

To order the Huck Finn Coursepack, send a check or money order to PBS VIDEO for $8.75 plus $4.75 for shipping and handling (total: $13.50) to:

Special Item #HFIN111
Huck Finn Coursepack
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, VA 22314

You can also order by phone or fax:
(800) 344-3337
(703) 739-5269 (fax)

Culture Shock Teacher's Guide
This free forty-page guide provides discussion questions, activities, curriculum links, and resources for all four Culture Shock films. To order, write to:

Culture Shock Guide
Educational Print and Outreach
125 Western Avenue
Boston, MA 02134

Culture Shock Videos
Born to Trouble: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Shock of the Nude: Manet's Olympia
Hollywood Censored: Movies, Morality & the Hollywood Production Code
The Devil's Music: 1920s Jazz

To order the full set of Culture Shock videos, call or fax PBS VIDEO at:
(800) 344-3337
(703) 739-5269 (fax)

or visit PBS VIDEO

Africans in America
To order videotapes for home use, contact:
WGBH Boston Video
P.O. Box 2284
South Burlington, VT 05407
(800) 255-9424.

For the indexed version of the series, contact:
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, VA 22314
(800) 344-2337.

For a free teacher's guide to the series, write to:

Africans in America Teacher's Guide
Educational Print and Outreach
125 Western Avenue
Boston, MA 02134

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