October 19, 2014

Stereotypes in Little Golden Books

From Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature blog:

Stereotypes of American Indians in Little Golden BooksIn 1942, Little Golden Books was launched. Among them are several with stereotypes of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

There are 18 Indians shown on these covers (two on the Bugs Bunny one; none on the Roy Rogers and Little Trapper books). Only 2 are female. One of the two females is... umm... Howdy Doody's "Princess."
Dueling comments on this posting:Ruth
I agree with Anonymous. With our eyes and minds of today those books vlrstly show stereotypes. But in those times, it was not viewed / considered this way. Nobody asked themselves if they were stereotyping American Indians or not. Nobody asked if bokks by Countess of Segur were showing stereotypes against little girls. At the time, it was not the case. Your pictures are beautiful and remind me of my childhood. Thank you very much.

Ruth, Another concern with the argument that those depictions were not considered stereotypes "back in the day" but not now is that some people DID recognize the inaccuracies and stereotyping back then, but their perspective was not considered important by the authors and publishers. Their actual voices were silenced even though they were frequently depicted--but they (the Native Americans, Africans and African-Americans, Asians, girls and women, etc.) often did consider those depictions to be problematic.
Comment:  For more of Reese's analyses, see Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims.

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