Chasing Sambo

Episodes

First
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
20151230

20151230

20151230

20151230

In November 2013 an Edinburgh school made news across the world when police were called in to investigate a mural featuring a golliwog.

Parent Margaret Neizer-Rocha had complained to police, City of Edinburgh council officials and MSPs after spotting the image when she visited the school with her young son.

The scene painted on the ceiling of the assembly hall dates back to 1936 and was recently restored with 18-thousand pounds of lottery funding. Despite a request from Margaret that the image be removed because it was offensive the Council refused, describing it as of "both historical and artistic importance".

In this Radio Scotland documentary the poet Jackie Kay asks if the council got it right.

Look around today and you will see traces of this outdated, racist imagery - in books, on old jam jars, on pub signs and in cuddly toys sitting in shop front windows.

Jackie has written extensively about her experience of racism growing up in Glasgow, where she was called Sambo after the character in 'Little Black Sambo'; a book written by Edinburgh author Helen Bannerman at the turn of the century.

Jackie traces the origins of the word, tracking how it spread and mutated over the 20th century. She speaks with Dr David Pilgrim, an American sociologist, who runs a museum dedicated entirely to exhibiting racist memorabilia and discovers that the museum contains a whole section dedicated to 'Sambo'.

In this authored feature, Jackie Kay asks what should be done with racist relics? Should we ignore them? Put them in a museum to neutralise them? Or accept them as part of our shameful past, and if so, how?

20151230

In November 2013 an Edinburgh school made news across the world when police were called in to investigate a mural featuring a golliwog.

Parent Margaret Neizer-Rocha had complained to police, City of Edinburgh council officials and MSPs after spotting the image when she visited the school with her young son.

The scene painted on the ceiling of the assembly hall dates back to 1936 and was recently restored with 18-thousand pounds of lottery funding. Despite a request from Margaret that the image be removed because it was offensive the Council refused, describing it as of "both historical and artistic importance".

In this Radio Scotland documentary the poet Jackie Kay asks if the council got it right.

Look around today and you will see traces of this outdated, racist imagery - in books, on old jam jars, on pub signs and in cuddly toys sitting in shop front windows.

Jackie has written extensively about her experience of racism growing up in Glasgow, where she was called Sambo after the character in 'Little Black Sambo'; a book written by Edinburgh author Helen Bannerman at the turn of the century.

Jackie traces the origins of the word, tracking how it spread and mutated over the 20th century. She speaks with Dr David Pilgrim, an American sociologist, who runs a museum dedicated entirely to exhibiting racist memorabilia and discovers that the museum contains a whole section dedicated to 'Sambo'.

In this authored feature, Jackie Kay asks what should be done with racist relics? Should we ignore them? Put them in a museum to neutralise them? Or accept them as part of our shameful past, and if so, how?

2015123020160325 (RS)

In November 2013 an Edinburgh school made news across the world when police were called in to investigate a mural featuring a golliwog.

Parent Margaret Neizer-Rocha had complained to police, City of Edinburgh council officials and MSPs after spotting the image when she visited the school with her young son.

The scene painted on the ceiling of the assembly hall dates back to 1936 and was recently restored with 18-thousand pounds of lottery funding. Despite a request from Margaret that the image be removed because it was offensive the Council refused, describing it as of "both historical and artistic importance".

In this Radio Scotland documentary the poet Jackie Kay asks if the council got it right.

Look around today and you will see traces of this outdated, racist imagery - in books, on old jam jars, on pub signs and in cuddly toys sitting in shop front windows.

Jackie has written extensively about her experience of racism growing up in Glasgow, where she was called Sambo after the character in 'Little Black Sambo'; a book written by Edinburgh author Helen Bannerman at the turn of the century.

Jackie traces the origins of the word, tracking how it spread and mutated over the 20th century. She speaks with Dr David Pilgrim, an American sociologist, who runs a museum dedicated entirely to exhibiting racist memorabilia and discovers that the museum contains a whole section dedicated to 'Sambo'.

In this authored feature, Jackie Kay asks what should be done with racist relics? Should we ignore them? Put them in a museum to neutralise them? Or accept them as part of our shameful past, and if so, how?

2015123020160103 (RS)

Poet Jackie Kay asks what should be done with Scotland's racist relics.