What would you do if a beloved book, rich in meaning and literature, were to be banned, gone forever? Would you vow to memorize the book in order to save it? I would. When Charles French, a professor of English Literature, formed a society at Lehigh University in his English 2 class for the purpose of appreciating all books – especially those that have been banned over the years – I knew this was more than a brilliant idea. Much like the storyline in Fahrenheit 451, the members of the ULS (Underground Library Society) pick a banned book to save. The society has now grown beyond the boarders of Lehigh. I chose to champion a classic children’s book. Thank you for including me in the ULS. I am giving a shoutout to readers to become a member and tell the world about your favorite banned book, and why you would save it. Here is my story:
Thank you to Jennie Fitzkee for her guest post for the U.L.S., the Underground Library Society. She deals with a book that is easily misunderstood as being racist, and she details that the story is really about India and not African-Americans. It is important to make the distinction between perception of racism and actual racism, as Jennie does. Now for her post:
In 1899 Helen Bannerman wrote a children’s book, Little Black Sambo, after she and her husband had lived in India for thirty years. Helen was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and she fondly remembered those years in India. The classic story is about a little boy who outwits tigers in the jungle. I dearly loved this story when I was a child, particularly the tigers turning into butter when they ran in circles around the tree.
The boy’s name is Little Black Sambo, his mother is…
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