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.

Enough with stereotyping black people as monkeys!

The Coon Caricature: Blacks as Monkeys #365black #blackhistory

No comments:

Post a Comment