The first public library to ban Huckleberry Finn was the Concord Free Public Library, who in 1885 accused Twain’s then year-old work of containing coarse, inelegant language. The book has continued to be a source of tension and controversy – sometimes it was challenged or banned for portraying interracial friendships and taking an anti-slavery stance, other times modern challengers objected to its use of the ‘n’-word and its generally racially-charged language. All of these controversies have made the book one of the most-banned books of all time.
Each year, in the last week of September, the American Library Association and libraries nationwide host events and displays celebrating literature that has been challenged or banned in libraries and schools. Banned Books Week highlights the most frequently challenged books of the previous year and tries to give people a history of book challenges.