This is the original story written by the Scottish author, Helen Bannerman (1862-1946). The story was published in 1899. The text and content in this Webdidactic edition is from the edition published by the Saalfield Publishing Company, and printed in the USA. The Illustrations are the original illustrations by Florence White Williams.
Helen Bannerman lived much of her life in India with her husband who was an officer in the Indian Medical Service. It is that part of the world that is the setting for most of her stories, including Little Black Sambo.
Little Black Sambo, at least in its original form, is almost impossible to find. It's absence is entirely due to what is assumed to be some kind of insult to black people, by which, in the United States, is meant those of African origin. But Sambo is not about Africans at all, but South Indians, and of those black people it is highly complimentary.
But political correctness, which is rooted firmly in ignorance and racism, knows no bounds, so Sambo is relegated to the ash-heap of political-incorrect burned-books.
Though Sambo is not at all racist, it is certainly politically incorrect, and will offend both the anti-tobacco crowd (Black Jumbo, Sambo's dad, is shown smoking a pipe in the very first illustration of him), and the portrayal of the tigers is sure to offend the animal rights crowd.
This story is a delightful fantasy and is not at all moralistic; but, it is told from the view of those whose values (in those days) determined their outlook on everything. Please note, the tigers were turned into butter by their own viscious envy of each other, and that envy was over some supposed glory they enjoyed because of stolen goods—stolen from Sambo. Sambo's mother made the coat and trousers the tiger's stole, and Sambo's father bought the unbrella and purple shoes the tiger's stole. It seems fitting to me, that the theives, fighting over what they had stolen, should be turned into butter for the benefit of their victims, who had earned (Dad found the butter on the way home from work) and produced what was stolen. Perhaps it is this picture of justice the leftist PC crowed really hates about Sambo.
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