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Woo for estate sales!
cap, captain miss america
teaberryblue

My brother is here visiting from Minnesota, and we spent the day driving to estate sales. I got some exciting things!

There were political buttons! I got two Clinton-Gore ‘92 buttons! Al Gore looks like he is six years old in these!

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Then I got one that is much more awesome! LOOK IT IS A STEVENSON BUTTON. STEVENSON.

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They totally charged me twenty-five cents each for these babies! I had totally been expecting Stevenson to be at least $5.

THEN I got books! I got a copy of Shadow of the Wind for a buck to give my brother to read on the plane going back home, and then:

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YES THAT IS A FIRST-EDITION OF CAKES AND ALE THAT SOMEONE WAS SO SCANDALIZED BY THE USE OF INITIALS THAT THEY HAD TO DEFACE IT WITH W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM’S FIRST NAME, WILLIAM.

And then there is THE BEST FIND OF THE DAY:

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ALSO KNOWN AS THE BOBBSEY TWINS AND THE MOST RACIST ADVENTURE EVER.

Yes, folks, the Bobbsey Twins books WEREN’T ALREADY RACIST ENOUGH. So now we have to send them down south to a cotton plantation where they totally make friends with not one but TWO Uncle Toms and go OUT TO THE FIELDS TO PLANT COTTON:

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I photographed a page so you can see a sample of this excellent culturally-aware and unoffensive text:

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Yeah. That is what the whole book is like. I already knew that the Bobbsey Twins were ridiculously racist just in the portrayal of the family servants, but man, this one takes the cake. It really disturbs me now that my parents even let me read these when I was a kid. What was WRONG with you, Mommy and Daddy?

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.


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Lol Southern literature. Good old-fashioned family racism.

These aren't Southern. They were mostly written by people from New Jersey.

I heard something to the effect of the first official KKK group being started in New Jersey, so I wouldn't be surprised!

I know I've read some of these books because the characters seem familiar, but I don't know why or really remember anything about them.

Then again, I love Tintin, and those stories are so horribly racist and ridiculous sometimes it just makes me cringe.

I am just leery of people pinning racism on a certain region of the country when I think it's important to recognize the sheer pervasiveness of racism in our country less than a century ago. This isn't just "oh, Southern books" or "oh, New Jersey," these were incredibly popular books that were being given to children all over the place, in regions that consider themselves "not like that" and shaped the viewpoints of very young children in a lot of the country. I don't think we should be boxing it up and trying to claim that it was unique to little enclaves, that's denying the status quo that existed at the time. Does that make sense?

Uhm, yes, that does make sense. Obviously my comment wasn't as clear as I intended. But thanks for spelling it out for me.

AWESOME.

I love that the etchings of the black people are, y'know. White.

No, those are white people. There are no etchings of black people in the book. Those are the Bobbsey Twins, who are the white main characters, and a white man (who is of course called "The Colonel").

Oh man! That's somehow even more delightfully ridiculous!

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I am thinking of wearing my Clinton-Gore buttons on my bag or something.

I am sort of curious as to what you are going to do at the Bobbsy twins book now. Besides go WTF at it, which was totally enough reason to buy it.

I have a collection of them, so this is going to go into the collection. They were my favorite books when I was like, 4 or 5. I sort of want to read some of the ones I already had and see if they are this horrific. A lot of mine are the re-prints where they updated them and made them less offensive, but I also have several from the 50s.

I want some of those buttons. I would wear them on my jacket and book-bag just get to see the response.

"In the Land of Cotton" sounds extremely racist all by itself. Also, who doesn't love Uncle Toms? So genial and full of homey wisdom!

It's even worse in the book, where the Uncle Toms call it "de land o' cotton."

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I have never heard of the Little Colonel books. Are these based on/related to the Shirley Temple movie of the same name?

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Oh, god, that IS horrible.

We were exposed to some pretty weird stuff in the form of children's literature. I remember being awfully confused about what all these English people were doing in India.

Frances Hodgson Burnett? My godfather actually owns her old house!

Wow, I read those as a kid too. Hmm, I wonder what else those B twins "taught" in their books..I never realized when I read them as a child!

Yeah, this is exactly what troubled me about these books. I know there were revisions that are supposedly "less racist,"but I am really skeptical of just how much less racist they are. I also wonder if there is more implicit stuff that editors may not have noticed.

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