The Pain of the Watermelon Joke

November 30, 2014 / by armstrong

Jacqueline Woodson, author of National Book Award winner “Brown Girl Dreaming”, wrote an article in op-ed in the New York Times, published November 29, 2014, in which she says, “In a book I found at the library, a camp song about a watermelon vine was illustrated with caricatures of sleepy-looking black people sitting by trees, grinning and eating watermelon. Slowly, the hideousness of the stereotype began to sink in. In the eyes of those who told and repeated the jokes, we were shuffling, googly-eyed and lesser than.” Thanks to my friend, John Williamson of New York for posting this important piece on his page. Read it. And think about it.


Screenshot 2014-11-30 11.09.19

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