While my topic is a bit more boring, I did look up Little Black Sambo, and the parents were Black Mumbo and Black Jumbo. However, I am fearful that I may become involved in a race riot if I continue because I know that book has been censored for kids.
that's kind of bittersweet because little black sambo was a favorite of mine as a child. i have two editions and they are now worth a lot of money. it tickled my imagination to picture the tigers going round and round the tree, turning into butter for little black sambo's pancakes. his little purple shoes and little green coat and his umbrella. for some reason, every time it said tiger in the story, my sister had crossed it out and written skillibock.
but here in atlanta, it would be hurtful to ever bring it up. it's a very weird, fine line here. some black women collect the lawn jockeys, mammy statues etc. but i know most find it repulsive and of course there are still the ignorant white folk who flaunt such possessions. however, cleaning out my parent's estate, i found some in the attic and i plan to destroy them. @
Wildflowerchild, I, too, loved Little Black Sambo as a child. You are right that the fantasy of the tigers running around the tree, turning into butter, was so intriguing. As a child, I would sometimes run so fast and wonder if I would turn to butter. I still use the term from the book "crimson soles with crimson linings" to describe something grand.
To me, that kind of political correctness (ie, to ban a book) is not beneficial and does nothing to stem racism. Perhaps if I lived in the south, I would understand it more.
1.) Wasn't the original "Little Black Sambo" Indian? As in from India, I mean? I've always suspected that much of the offense taken by thin-skinned readers of this children's classic was misplaced.
2.) Regarding the original question of this thread, a bit of trivia. "Mr. Mojo risin'," repeated several times, was a song lyric of a song made popular by The Doors. Rearrange the letters of that lyric and you get, of course, "Jim Morrison," the leader of that classic band.
quote: Not stopping to look it up, but wasn't there a song in which the oft-repeated line was, Got my mojo workin' / But it just won't work on you"?
and CJ said:
quote: Regarding the original question of this thread, a bit of trivia. "Mr. Mojo risin'," repeated several times, was a song lyric of a song made popular by The Doors. Rearrange the letters of that lyric and you get, of course, "Jim Morrison," the leader of that classic band.
So, In looking for information to clarify this, I came upon this site which tells about
Muddy Waters singing the first song about Mojo called "The Mojo Blues",
and about the Beatles mentioning Mojo in their song "Come Together"
and about the Doors "LA Woman" which mentions the words "Mr. Mojo Risin' ... risin' risin'."
This site gives lots of details about the author, Helen Bannerman, who was living in India at the time the book was written. It includes this:
quote:The story relates the jungle adventures of the title character. In a fantasy setting that mixes elements of Africa and India, the hero, wearing bright clothes, encounters four tigers. As each tiger threatens to devour him, Sambo ingeniously offers each one a piece of his clothing instead.
quote:Critics have also observed that Bannerman presents one of the first black heroes in children's literature. Little Black Sambo was initially regarded as a book that positively portrayed black characters, especially in comparison to the more negative books of the time that depicted blacks as simple and uncivilized. As racial consciousness grew in America and Great Britain in the mid-twentieth century, however, Little Black Sambo became an object of harsh criticism and heated debate.
i feel like i'm back in my childhood, and imaginary people (you guys) are sitting at the end of the bed talking about my favorite story with me. i'm going to save these posts and read them later.
now, on to adult tasks. i won't save the below, much as i mean it:
the story is adorable. i think everyone knows that. i don't think black people hate the story. the fault lies within the selves of certain white people whom i know all too well. they have actually incorporated outtakes of little black sambo and a zillion other obscure blackface pantomimes into their everyday "funnin'". no doubt they heard it on grandma's knee. the southerners here who for some reason still, STILL fancy themselves plantation masters. in their own minds. they know it's a fantasy, they don't seem to know it's a SICK fantasy. they have always had the luxury of wallowing in their own moldy, rotting racist anti-intellect.
it's so widely accepted STILL that they have a comfort cushion of all the people around them, family and friends. all of them who have never been anywhere. i say that, even though they have been anywhere, but their minds never leave. they have never for one second, taken a walk in anybody else's shoes and they never will. ‡
i'm so tender-hearted it's ridiculous. i'm sitting here crying because i followed your link to the lbs site. i just love the drawings and i love the ones i have that i see, but the others, too that i have never seen. thank you soooooo much!H
I didn't venture beyond the Little Black Sambo page earlier. I'm really glad you did because it certainly is a fun site! Who'd have thought a pancake restaurant in Australia would have pages about Little Black Sambo, Alice in Wonderland and Harold Lloyd?