'The Story of Little Black Sambo'

Accession number MMM.2007.63

book cover

'The Story of Little Black Sambo' by Helen Bannerman is 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.

The American edition of the book is currently on display. Two other books by Helen Bannerman - the British edition of 'The Story of Little Black Sambo' and 'The Story of Sambo and the Twins' have also been donated to the International Slavery Museum's collections, but are not currently on display.

Several items like this 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.