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Little Black Sambo

***The staff of the Jim Crow Museum receives dozens of letters and emails. Some of these communiques offer insight into race relations -- historically and in the present. While some are hateful, we have decided to share some of these letters and emails with our Internet visitors.***

Little Black Sambo

My name is Erika Hagensen, and I'm a Social Work masters student at the University of Washington.

Recently my sister and I were going through old family boxes and came across a 1942 edition of "Little Black Sambo." We were devastated. This book of my mother's childhood had been carefully saved by our grandmother for me and my children. I hope to leave a different legacy for my children.

My sister and I would very much like to find a place to donate this book where it can be used to undo racism and oppression through education. As White women, we feel it important to name racism when we see it--especially in our own family. That is some of the hardest and most important ally-work.

Please let me know if this book would be of interest to your museum. As a graduate student, I'm not able to donate toward your new museum space monetarily, but I hope to contribute in other ways.


Erika Hagensen and Elise Tokumasu
-- April 11, 2005