A Guest Post for the ULS, The Underground Library Society, by Jennie Fitzkee

Standard

ULS logo 1

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.

LBS

 

The boy’s name is Little Black Sambo, his mother is Black Mumbo, and his father is Black Jumbo.  That is perhaps (most likely) the root of controversy and the banning of this book.  Over the years people have projected the story to be about blacks in the south.  Different versions were published, even a board game.  The degradation of blacks was both sad and appalling.

 

LBS1

 

LBS2

 

And so, it was banned in many places over the years.  “A typical pickaninny storybook which was hurtful to black children.”  Those were the comments and reasons for banning the book.  When I heard the story as a child, I also thought the characters were blacks from the south.

 

Fast forward to 1996.  Fred Marcellino, an artist and illustrator, read the story.  He said, “There are no racist overtones.”  And there are none.  Zero.  It’s merely the perception because of the names of the characters.  So, Fred illustrated a new edition of the book.  He did not change one word of the text.  He simply changed the names of the characters to be authentic to India – Babaji, Mamaji, and Papaji.

 

LBS3

I read this book all the time in my classroom of preschoolers.  They revel in chanting the words of the tigers.  They love the book as much as I did as a child.  We do play performances about this book.  Really!

And of course, tigers live in India, not the southern states in America.  So, shame on those naysayers and book banners.  They should have known better.

I vow to memorize the words to this classic story.

Thank you Jennie for the post, and welcome to the U.L.S.

ULS Logo 3

 

Advertisements

World Refugee Day and The United States of America

Standard

Around the world, millions of people are forced to flee their homes to try to escape violence and to attempt to save their families. These are people who are forced into making the most difficult decisions and who are among the most vulnerable people in the world. This includes the families who are attempting to escape severe danger and to seek asylum in the United States of America, which had been before the shining beacon of hope for those in peril.

How they are treated by the nations of the world, including the United States of America, is a defining measure of those countries.

The United Nations Refugee Agency speaks to this issue: “On World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20th, we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.” (http://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/)

Please support World Refugee Day, and please remember that our current President has caused a refugee crisis by his inexcusable, inhumane, treatment of children on our southern border, treatment that is child abuse.

Speak up for these families. Do not let the United States of America’s beacon of hope die out.

 

Works Cited

http://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/

Quotations on Treatment of Children

Standard

Kofi_Annan

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they can grow up in peace.”

                                                                             Kofi Annan

pearl s buck

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all.”

                                                                            Pearl S. Buck

 

john-f-kennedy-63160_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”

                                                                            John F. Kennedy

 

What Have We Become In The United States?

Standard

I have tried very hard in this blog not to be political. I have extremely strong views, but I have attempted to keep them out of this site. I no longer can.

The United States of America, which has been the beacon of hope to the desperate of the world, now have become the nation that rips children from their parents. What is happening at the southern border is inexcusable. No American, regardless of political leaning, no matter if Democrat, Republic, or Independent, whether liberal, moderate, or conservative,  should accept what our government is doing.

Attorney General Sessions used The Bible to justify these actions. I suggest he actually consider the lesson that Jesus gave in Matthew 19:14 “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.The action of the government, separating children from asylum-seeking parents, is an abomination. And Jesus would not have approved.

When did the United States of America lose its compassion? My parents were the generation that fought World  War Two, defeating the worst threat to freedom ever faced by the world: fascism, especially under Hitler. Let us remember that Hitler began with attacks on children.

If you have children or grandchildren and needed help to get them to safety, would you not expect aid from The United States of America?

Where is our decency?

It is time to stand up and say no more.

We will not treat families this way.

We will not take children from parents.

We say no more!

Get Caught Reading!

Standard

book-2869_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

May is Get Caught Reading Month! This is a wonderful idea begun by the Association of American Publishers, and I support it completely.

So please let someone see you reading, especially children. It will encourage them to read also!

bear-3112496_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

What Book Would You Read? — Revisited

Standard

book-clouds-873442_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

One of my best memories from summers when I was a child was of those days when I didn’t have to do anything. Work had not yet reared its head, chores were finished, and the weather was just right. It wasn’t too hot, and the humidity was low. The sky was filled with imagination-inducing legions of clouds.  On such days, I remember sitting under a tree, leaning back against it and reading a book—all day, with the exception of going in for lunch and supper. They were perfect days.

clouds-1460001_960_720

(https://pixabay.com)

Now, imagine something like that. For one day, you have no responsibilities, the weather is nice—75 degrees, almost no humidity, and a sky of bright blue and cumulus clouds like scattered cotton candy—and you have the time to indulge in reading a book. At your side is a container of coffee, iced tea, or whatever you like. You also have snacks with you.  Remember, for this day, you are free to relax and read, as if you were a child again.

If I were to do this right now, I think I would begin to reread The Lord of the Rings.

First_Single_Volume_Edition_of_The_Lord_of_the_Rings

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

My question is—what book would you read?

I have used this post before, but I love hearing the answers from other readers.

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbook

Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

32570160

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

Cowardice, Hypocrisy, and Corruption

Standard

Those who follow my blog know that I try to keep politics out of it, but I can not sit by and ignore the utter insanity of the events that keep happening–of the never ending mass shootings in our country. Then politicians, the President and many in Congress, come out and offer their prayers and thoughts, while they take blood money from the NRA and the gun manufacturers.

How many innocent people, how many children, both elementary and high school children will have to die and be wounded before action is taken to correct the situation?

When will Americans say, in a united voice, that this will happen no more, that we will hold politicians who do not enact reasonable gun legislation responsible for their increasing cowardice, hypocrisy, and corruption? I have never been a one policy voter, but now I will never vote for a politician who does not support gun legislation, and I hope the majority of Americans say the same thing. Only then, can real action be taken, and the situation can be changed.

I am not arguing that Americans should not be able to have certain guns for self-protection or hunting, but no citizen should be allowed to have an automatic or semi-automatic weapon.  They exist only to kill as many people as possible in a short a time as possible.

And for those who would scream out “The Second Amendment,” I suggest you read it, parse it, analyze it, and understand its intention. We have a military now, and a militia is no longer needed.

As a nation, we need to grow up and act as responsible adults. We need the United States of America needs to be a civilized nation where children and teachers are safe in school, where people can gather to enjoy an evening out, and where attending a concert is not an act of bravery in the face of danger.

We need responsible gun legislation now.

How many will join me in voting against any politician who will not support such laws?