January 10, 2008

Sacheen the "squaw"

Observations:  Natives in the News and the Role of Children's BooksThis morning, there was a link to an article in the Telegraph, whose tag is "Britain's No. 1 quality newspaper website." The article is called "And the protester is..." It is about moments of protest at the Oscars. The part of the article that google snagged for me is this:
1972

When presenters Roger Moore and Liv Ullmann declared Marlon Brando best actor for The Godfather, a young woman dressed as a native American squaw appeared on the podium.

I am appalled that whomever wrote the article used the word "squaw." Its use in the article demonstrates the strength by which Brits are gripped by outdated and biased imagery of American Indians. It was used in a matter-of-fact way, just as it was used in a lot of older classic works of children's historical fiction published here in the United States.
(Excerpted from Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature, 1/7/08.)

Comment:  For more on the subject of "squaw," see Squelching the S-Word.

1 comment:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
writerfella can't quite read the paper that Maria Cruz is holding, but judging from the fellow behind her, it probably says, "KLAATU BARADA NIKTO!"
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'