Little Black Sambo books
Accession numbers ISM.2008.3.1-2
The books shown on this page, 'The Story of Little Black Sambo' and 'The Story of Sambo and the Twins' by Helen Bannerman have recently been donated to the International Slavery Museum's collections. All the objects collected since the museum opened have been gifts.
These editions of the books are not currently on display, however the American edition of 'The Story of Little Black Sambo' is on display.
The books are part of the museum's collection which explores the representation of Black people through racial stereotypes. The International Slavery Museum endeavours to collect objects that represent forms of racism and discrimination such as these, as well as items relating to transatlantic slavery, Black history and contemporary forms of slavery.
Other objects in this part of the collection include a golly doll, a Robertson's Jam apron and a Darkie toothpaste box. They have all been donated to the museum by people who had owned them for a long time, possibly from childhood. The growing realisation that once familiar and 'acceptable' objects are based on negative racial stereotypes has left owners unsure of what to do with them.