When I was a kid it was tough to sell any book to me, but TKAM was one of the few that I read all the way through and remembered. That's saying something, because that did not happen very often in my k-12 education. (Gatsby didn't make that list. I tried to read it later in life and found both the story and the writing style unengaging.) I loved teaching the book when I became a high school teacher, but in the 21st century I think that its most valuable aspects are not about race. There are probably more relevant books for race discussions today. But it values education and intelligence in a way that I don't think denigrates the uneducated. It provides strong role models for both men and women, as well as lots of fodder for discussion about gender roles. I had an interview for an English teaching position in the last year that I was still trying to find work in the field and we talked about this extensively. Those discussions damned near got me the job, too. In fact, the principal called and almost apologized for hiring the candidate who had a dual certification in English and Special Ed. TKAM is not the most polished or sophisticated work, but a lot of the music I like is not that polished or sophisticated either.