The picaninny is a non-Black character of kids. They are “child coons,” with the equivalent physical qualities. Pickaninnies have protruding eyes, huge red lips, and they talk in a crude, cliché slang. They are regularly displayed stuffing their wide mouths with watermelon or chicken, which they probably stole. They are unkempt, implying that their family is careless. Frequently they appear naked which is especially disturbing because of their age. It isn’t surprising to see pictures of Black young ladies pregnant, including one picture from the 1964 Presidential campaign deriding African American aid for the nominee of the Democratic Party, Lyndon B. Johnson, and his campaign trademark, “All the Way with L.B.J.” Young black men are frequently appeared to be in a sexual quest for Black young ladies, and one particularly irritating topic includes the Black male’s penis being undermined in some awkward way, either by getting it captured in a tree, a fence, or having it bitten by a creature. Maybe the thought was that emasculated young men won’t grow up to be the Beast personification. Pickaninnies are frequently extremely dehumanized not seen with some other personification. They are likened with creatures. They are the objectives of brutality, for example, during the 1900s postcard, “I Certainly Do Miss the Children,” highlighting a white man tossing balls at dolls in a festival game called, “Hit the Nigger Babies.” The incongruity, that a father would purchase such a card apparently to express love to his own kids was obviously lost on the White customer. Black youths regularly appear on postcards and prints as bait for crocs, a delineation that a huge number of Whites felt was interesting, given the quantity available for use. Different forms show black kids being run over by boulders or eaten by bears and mutts.
Countless items make explicit reference to the skin shade of dark children as being originated from ink, either from directly drinking ink or from taking the buildup from the baths in which black kids have washed. One particularly hostile print, distributed in 1916, demonstrates a delicately satirized black kid sitting on the floor, drinking from a container of ink. This picture is differentiated by the straightforward, unmistakable inscription underneath, which states, “Nigger Milk”.
The message of these matters was clear: black kids are not human. The thought that the darkness of a child’s complexion could be washed off, similar to an ink blotch, is delineated on one 1920s postcard. It is possibly no surprise that the couple of advertisements that tried to use the pickaninny personification in their commercials were mainly clothing cleansers, including the well known Gold Dust twins, and promotions for Lux detergent.
Modern Day Pickaninny
Buckwheat was initially a female and later a male/female character, both in the exemplary Pickaninny stereotype with a tangle of braids, yet with time he expected his actual sexual orientation and standard outfit of a floppy cap, striped shirt, and worn out jeans, problematically held up by one suspender.
Prada had announced that they would no longer sell the red-lipped monkey dolls to be utilized as satchel keychains after online reporters called attention to that they intently looked like the bigot exaggeration known as “Black Sambo.” This is the second time a fashion company’s monkey delineations land it into an unfortunate situation. H&M got in trouble in January after having a black child model a hoodie that said, “coolest monkey in the jungle.”
“Black Sambo” along with the other generally known charachters like the coon, mammy, and uncle tom are just a small amount of pop culture that has been apart of the American history for quite some time. These exaggerated features of blackface were put to great use as oppression in the dehumanizing of african american people and as promotion of black people as “natural slaves”