- Child Advocate, #SchoolLibrarian,
#Educator, Book Reviewer and PhD Candidate #tlchat #BlackTwitter
Black People, Children's Literature and Monkeys
As a black librarian, the only book in my
library that depicts a monkey is Curious George. The stories are based
on life lessons and he is portrayed as what he is: an animal. Throughout the Obama administration, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were likened to monkeys/apes, needless to say some paid the price for doing so. Let me get back to my point because that subject really angers me.
There was once a time
when black people were commonly compared to monkeys in children's literature. It
suggests that blacks were a different, sub-human species. It also has
the connotations of slavery and everything associated with it. It stirs
up the same emotions as calling blacks a nigger, which in itself ONLY
has cultural connotations. So in other words, the comparison to monkey
is almost objectively worse, especially when books with the comparison
is presented to young children.
I'm respectful of the families and
cultures I serve through the library and the books I select for the
collection. Here's one of the primary sources I used for my research. You can see for how this subject that has unfairly been used to describe beautiful men and women who have fought and open doors for the black community.