Get Reading into Racism: Bias in Children's Literature and PDF

By Gillian Klein

Released within the yr 1985, analyzing into Racism is a worthwhile contribution to the sphere of schooling.

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Additional resources for Reading into Racism: Bias in Children's Literature and Learning Materials

Example text

If he is not menacing, the golliwog is at best a diminished and ridiculous figure. Dressed in the servile minstrel apparel of that creation of the White South of the black man, used also by Bannerman to illustrate her Little Black Sambo of India, they are there simply to provide amusement to the whites. Recently, Brandreth had a little trouble convincing sensitized publishers that golliwogs are harmless. Five of them turned down his project before Pelham accepted and published Here comes Golly in 1979.

And it is in response to his foster-brother’s kindness that Donovan finally regains his speech, crying out a warning and so saving the white boy from being run over. Is there not a certain paternalistic bias operating here? And something of the black obligation to the white philanthropists? It is hard to say what overall message children will get from this book when they read it to themselves. What is certainly clear is the reason for its popularity as the first story that would introduce the issues for discussion to juniors.

Confirmation or refutation Add to all this the fact that my son at five, like all children, had already formed many of his attitudes with regard to race and to sex roles. Research by Davy, Goodman, Milner and others make it clear that these attitudes are manifesting themselves by the age of three, and may have formed earlier even than that. Books are not going to overturn those attitudes at a stroke. But if they are not to confirm them, then they have to refute them. Those of us who are concerned with the education of children will have to recognize that if the curriculum—and that includes the hidden curriculum—and the resources in the school do not teach against bias of a negative or pejorative nature, then they are reinforcing that bias.

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