[Ed. – Wisdom from the mouths of babes.]
In my tenth grade English class … I read some of the works of the late Joseph Conrad, an unbounded explorer and captivating writer.
But my class did not analyze Conrad’s books as my father or grandfather did when they were my age.
Instead of discussing how his works shaped authors-to-come and how his novels were some of the earliest modernist ones, we debated whether or not he should even be taught in the classroom.
We did not study the stories of exploration and tragedy that captivated the many authors who shaped the Western psyche; rather, we had long arguments over whether or not to cast him out of the literary canon entirely because of some of his racially insensitive statements, which in his time were not unorthodox.
Put simply, we were taught to throw the baby out with the bathwater. …