1929 Blackface drawing by Dr. Seuss for sale on the internet
1929 Blackface Drawing by Dr. Seuss.
Reported by Liku Zelleke
Much of the public would associate Dr. Seuss with the wonderful children stories he wrote and that could be read over and over again. His rhyming ways made it easy for generations of youth and adults to enjoy the adventures of the likes of The Cat in the Hat and Yertle the Turtle.
But that wasn’t all Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, had to offer the art world. There is one particularly offensive image among the con-tent he created when contributing to a conservative satirical magazine called Judge.
The image is hand-drawn, painted and is dated 1929. It is entitled “Cross-Section of The World’s Most Prosperous Department Store.” In it, there are three panels that depict men in a department store where they select “various merchandise to make their lives more difficult.” One of the panels has individuals in blackface waiting to be sold as objects depicted as “A High-Grade N*gger For Your Woodpile.”
The image has, at present, been put up for sale online by Nate D. Sanders Fine Auto-graphs and Memorabilia. The minimum bid has been set at $20,000, but has not attracted any bidders as of yet.
What many people don’t know is that Dr. Seuss had white supremacist tendencies and even drew anti-Japanese cartoons during World War II. He wasn’t afraid of openly voicing his prejudice.
Later in his life, he apparently tried to make amends by creating anti-racist cartoons, beginning in the late 1940s, and even dedicated his 1954 book, Horton Hears a Who to “My Great Friend, Mitsugi Nakamura of Kyoto, Japan.”
According to filmmaker Ron Lamothe, who was behind the making of The Political Dr. Seuss, biographers deemed the author to be “regretful about some of his cartoons” from the earlier times of his career.