Banishment Of Little Black Sambo Essay, Research Paper
The Banishment of Little Black Sambo
Literature is an exceptional way to give a point of view, to tell a story, or to entertain. However, some people believe that certain works reflect poorly on society, so they demand that these pieces be banned from civilization. Writings, such as The Catcher in the Rye, were restricted from schools due to vulgar and offensive content, and were deemed unfit for the eyes of an adolescent. Many books have been are prohibited to be printed due to harmful or distasteful content. Even classic children’s books such as The Story of Little Black Sambo, which was suppressed in 1950’s due to alleged racism. They story was not disputed by any organization, but instead by individual citizens. Imagine if this book was hot off the press, and arguments were just rising. Who would be arguing against it and who would be arguing for it?
The Story of Little Black Sambo is a piece that tells of a little boy’s heroic act. The tale starts out with the introduction of Little Black Sambo, his mother Black Mumbo, and his father Black Jumbo. Each of his parents gives him various articles of clothing. Little Black Sambo is very proud of his new clothes so he goes for a walk in the Jungle. He then came across a tiger that claims he is going to eat the helpless little boy. Intelligently, Little Black Sambo offered the lion his fancy new coat. The child then proceeds on his walk, and it’s not long before he comes across another tiger claiming the same thing as the one before. He gives the tiger another piece of clothing and continues. Pretty soon he has encounter so many tigers that all of his new clothes are gone. On his way home, Little Black Sambo, heard the tigers fitting about whose clothes were better. The boy watched as the tigers fought themselves into frenzy, and eventually running nose to tail around a tree. The tigers rapidly circled the tree until there was nothing left but an enormous puddle of butter. Little Black Sambo and his father took the butter home to Black Mumbo and they had butter pancakes for dinner. Now doesn’t that seem like a perfectly decent story to tell a child? If one reads more into this story they would find it to be offending and full of racism.
The book would be considered a set back to African American equality. The group that would most oppose this book would be the NAACP. The Story of Little Black Sambo would be pulled from the shelves of libraries and from under the ink presses. These people would claim that the theme stereotyped the lifestyle of African Americans, and that the names in the story were politically incorrect. A debate would be on the grounds that African Americans fought for their equality, and that after all of these years when they finally had it this book came along and destroyed it.
The other side of the dispute is that it is a harmless story of a heroic boy. It could be argued that the African boy in this story was created to give inspiration. He displays intelligence when he gives up his new clothes in return for his life. He also demonstrates bravery when confronting the tigers in a even-tempered manner. The people that would be on this side of the battlefield would be the parents and children who thought this legend could be a life lesson to humanity.
It is clear that the arguments from both sides form a stable basis in which the outcome could go either way. However, in present day, society is more open to diversity of literature, so it could be assumed that the book would remain on the shelves of libraries and in the hands of children.