Were we taught racism and discrimination?
Do you remember these children's reading books? Little black Sambo (check here) is now currently considered as the epitome of racist and discriminatory literature, for indeed the context in which the stories are told clearly makes fun of black people, for example in the way the characters are named (Mambo and Jumbo are his parents' names - see here)... So: when Auntie Olive read us Sambo's adventures, were we taught racism??? Well, of course not. And perhapsmuch ado is made of nothing, once again. I used to be fascinated by the extraordinary end of the terrible tigers transformed into butter, and Little black Sambo with his new coat, shoes and hat (did he have a hat? - no, an umbrella! Glorious!) impressed me a great deal. I thought he was grand, and was genuinely sorry he had to give away all this wonderful attire bit by bit! So when the tigers started quarreling and he could once again get his nice clothes, I felt an immense satisfaction, and pleasure.
I don't know what age we read Little Black Sambo. But the emotions which I felt once again upon reading the story was still there, fresh as a yellow mango!
Here are a few pages from the books:
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