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8 Classic Children’s Books You Didn’t Realize Were Racist

sherlock holmes‘Sherlock Holmes’

It’s arguably one of the most beloved classic children’s books of all times, featuring one of literature’s most popular fictional characters. Unfortunately, Holmes novels were actually filled with racist descriptions of Black people. In the second Holmes novel, India’s aborigines from the Andaman Islands were described as being “naturally hideous, having large, misshapen heads, small fierce eyes and distorted features. Their feet and hands, however, are remarkably small …”



Doctor Dolittle racist

‘Doctor Dolittle’

The movie adaptation that features Eddie Murphy makes it hard to believe that anything about the classic Doctor Dolittle book would be racist, but it’s actually one of the most clearly racist books on the list. In the actual novel, the doctor meets an African prince who desperately wants to marry a white princess. The doctor agrees to “help” the African prince get the woman of his dreams by bleaching his skin. It’s essentially teaching young Black children two things — Caucasians should be highly desired by Black people and that Black people should aspire to be like them to gain their approval or acceptance, even bleaching their skin instead of embracing their beautiful natural complexions.

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3 thoughts on “8 Classic Children’s Books You Didn’t Realize Were Racist

  1. It will always be one sided, until we start telling our story.

  2. Tell your story then. What horrors has your family been through at the hands of children's books?

  3. Chris Pasquale A better question would be what horrors have black people been through because of the stereotypes and derogatory themes of children's books?

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