Along with the rest of the world, we mourn the passing of Harper Lee. What she has given to all of us through To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman is immeasurable and will endure.
We know that readers around the globe will continue to grapple with her complex and challenging vision of race, class, and injustice in American society for generations to come.
Like so many, we owe Harper Lee an enormous debt both as readers and as educators. But personally, we also feel obligated to thank her for the work we have been able to do and the rich conversations we have been so fortunate to have with teachers across the country about Mockingbird over the past few years. Our packed session at NCTE in November, along with Susan Groenke and Robert Prickett, on “Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird in (Not-So) Post-Racial Times” was a thrilling testament to both the enduring relevance of Lee’s landmark novel and to teachers’ continued dedication to engaging students in the critical conversations that both Mockingbird and Watchman inspire.
Thank you, Harper Lee, for inspiring and challenging us all.