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Modern Racist Cartoons

***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.***

Abby Mallard

Hello, I am just writing this email to let you know that I believe the film "Disney's Chicken Little 2005" has a racist character in it .... There is a little duckling girl named "Abby Mallard a.k.a. Ugly Duckling", in the film who resembles that of a small African American girl. Being a duck, she of course has a beak; but her beak is drawn significantly larger than the rest of the animals who also have beaks. I personally have not seen the film, but my 10-year old daughter has a Chicken Little coloring book with all of the characters in it. She being only 10 said to me "Mommy is this supposed to be a black girl?" I was of course stunned, and didn't know how to respond to her. I kept thinking "No this cant be right, maybe I'm not seeing it right?" Obviously I wanted to get a better image of the character, so I could then confirm if it was indeed racist. I got online and did a Google Image search, typing "Abby Mallard." Of course the search provided me with many results; most of which showed the character full screen and in color. After I saw more pictures of Abby, I then realized that the cartoon character was truly racist...

I showed the online images to my husband as well; he responded by saying "Disney knows they're wrong for this!"

I would like to see the film though, just to find out how Abby talks. I would like to hear if Disney has also given her an African American "vernacular" to coincide with her appearance. I really think it's a shame that instances like these still occur in 2006! Especially when its something that is made for our children to view and enjoy. It only proves that the times never change, just the rotation of people....


Miss M.
-- Jan. 16, 2006