The name of the author of the ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ Laura Ingalls Wilder, was scrapped from a major children’s book award for being too racist.
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) replaced the name of the award containing the name of the beloved children’s book author with Children’s Literature Legacy Award.
- ALSC, which is an arm of the American Library Association, took the decision Saturday during a meeting in New Orleans.
- A spokesperson for the group said the attendance gave the decision a “standing ovation.”
Wilder is the author of the Little House on the Prairie novels. The ALSC is upset that the timeless children’s books contain “expressions of stereotypical attitudes” that are at odds with the association’s values. In other words, the author’s depictions of Native Americans and black people are racist.
A Complex Legacy
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award was first given in 1954. The Chicago-based association assured the audience that Wilder’s books will not be banned. The ALSC thinks that Wilder’s legacy is “complex” for our times and not everyone embraces it.
The ALA announced first time that the award will get a name-change in February. The group argued that the author’s legacy was not in line with today’s policies of “inclusiveness, integrity, and respect.” So, the author is not fit to patron an award that serves children’s reading and education.
At the time, the ALA insisted that Wilder’s work promotes racist and anti-Native sentiments. Also, her views are not “universally embraced” today.
The U.S. author was born in 1867 and published Little House on the Prairie in 1935. She died in 1957. Her novel does have some racist elements, by today’s standards, so the groups are concerned that children may be exposed to racism in schools.
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