10 Classic Children's Books That Are Actually Racist

Timeless stories of childhood innocence and inconceivably racist stereotypes.

Nostalgia can be a powerful thing. It can make even the dullest childhoods seem bright and full of adventure, the most mediocre children's cartoon a masterwork in storytelling and pretty much any charting pop song in the 1990s the anthem of a generation. Unfortunately, these rose-tinted perceptions don't benefit from even the barest scrutiny and are easily shattered, revealing just how naff most of our childhoods actually were. However, there is some small comfort to be found in the fact that everyone is subject to operating under the misapprehension that 'things were better back then', and you're not alone in your mistaken belief that the old X-Men cartoons were actually good in any way. This cultural nostalgia doesn't extend simply to the perceived quality of things, though; it seems that humans have even programmed their brains to whitewash out the controversial or insensitive parts of great works of art so that the rest can be enjoyed without discomfort. And many of the western world's best-loved children's books have conveniently forgotten-about racist undertones (and sometimes overtones, too). But it would be ridiculous to throw the baby out with the racist bathwater, right? So the stories are still published - many in their original forms - in order to preserve the author's original intent, despite that intent being to obnoxiously disparage minorities in many of their book's pages. When you remember these stories, you're likely not thinking about the distorted portrayal of minorities in the books, as most of the following books have produced sequels and adaptations that do away with any uncomfortable material, but it's all still there in the original texts of ten children's novels that you'd never have guessed were actually racist...

Film history obsessive, New Hollywood fetishist and comics evangelist.