ERIC Number: ED123308
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976
Little Black Sambo: A Closer Look. A History of Helen Bannerman's The Story of Little Black Sambo and its Popularity/Controversy in the United States.
Yuill, Phyllis J.
Surprisingly little research has been done on Little Black Sambo and the meager material is often contradictory. This study examines the origins of the book and traces its history in the United States through its overlapping periods of popularity and controversy. The story of Little Black Sambo, written in 1898 by Helen Bannerman, a white English woman, describes a dark skinned child's adventures with four tigers. This simple story, first published in England is 1899, has been the subject of public controversy for over 30 years. Although it was one of the most popular stories for preschoolers and primary graders during the first half of the twentieth century, many individuals and groups later called for its removal from library shelves. Conscientious professionals involved with children and books listened carefully to reports of potential harm. In spite of the resistance of some librarians to what they felt was undue censorship, the book was withdrawn from many schools and libraries. However, attitudes toward Sambo are still decidedly mixed, and it is widely available in book stores, public libraries, schools and other areas of the public scene. It is hoped that the view of the facts and theories surrounding the book made here will allow readers to examine the continued use of this story. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: Black Literature, Black Stereotypes, Characterization, Childrens Literature, Early Childhood Education, Illustrations, Library Material Selection, Literary History, Primary Education, Public Libraries, Racial Discrimination, Reading Material Selection, School Libraries, Supplementary Reading Materials, Textbooks
Racism and Sexism Resource Center for Educators, 1841 Broadway, New York, New York 10023 ($2.50)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Racism and Sexism Resource Center for Educators, New York, NY.