‘Happy’ Enslaved Africans Infuriates Twitter as Backlash Grows over New Children’s Book, Parents Launch Petition to End Falsehoods

a birthday cake for george washingtonAtlanta Blackstar reported last night about a children’s book that depicts the conditions of enslaved Black people as happy and satisfied with their own enslavement. A Birthday Cake for George Washington, written by Ramin Ganeshram and illustrated Vanessa Brantly-Newton, focuses on an enslaved chef named Hercules who loves cooking for President George Washington. The story takes a turn for the worse when Hercules and his daughter Delia run out of sugar.

The book makes the institution of slavery look like a 200-year-long vacation where Black folks are enjoying being deprived of basic human rights. The truth isn’t as colorful as the book would indicate. Washington was a notorious slave owner who reportedly owned 200 enslaved Black people at the Mt. Vernon plantation.

“When he was 11 years old, Washington inherited 10 slaves from his father’s estate. He continued to acquire slaves — some through the death of family members and others through direct purchase,” according to The New York Times. “Washington’s cache of enslaved people peaked in 1759 when he married the wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis.”

The country’s first president was a member of the planter class, as were other founding fathers, including Thomas Jefferson. As president, Washington was a firm supporter of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, which allowed slave owners to retake runaway enslaved people — even if they escaped to free territories. Mt. Vernon was the scene of horrific violence toward Black people and prompted many to escape.

Parents have created a Change.org petition to get rid of the book and remove it from Amazon. The author has received backlash for writing such a book. Twitter users realized the dangers of a book like this.












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