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Nursery Rhymes History

***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.***


I've been reading through the website for a while. It's been very eye-opening for me. I'm a white person who was born in 1994, and as a child I thought racism ended with slavery. Of course, growing up I realized it wasn't that simple, but I never thought about it much. However, these past few years I've learned so much about many social issues. I am shocked at how deeply ingrained racism is in America. The questions of the month are incredibly informative and have been very helpful to me. I also have a question!

Throughout my childhood my friends and I would sing rhymes while jumping rope or clapping hands. Recently, I was feeling a bit nostalgic and started to look up lyrics for some of the ones I'd forgotten the words to. I discovered that songs like "Miss Lucy had a Baby" and "Ten Little Monkeys" had racist origins. It got me thinking about what other songs and games I used to play as a kid had racist roots. I'd like to know more if possible!

Even if you don't answer my question, I still want to say thank you for providing such an educational resource!

Kelsey W
--June 1, 2015