When I was a kid, we use to sing a song in class.

Five little monkeys sitting in a tree
teasing Mr Alligator can't catch me, can't catch me
Along can Mr Alligator, quiet as can be
SNAP

Four little. etc..

Fast foward to college, and taking a class on African American protrayal in the media. (this is not from my class, but the idea)

The picaninny was the dominant racial caricature of Black children for most of this country's history. They were "child c**ns," miniature versions of Stepin Fetchit (see the section on the c**n caricature). Picaninnies had bulging eyes, unkempt hair, red lips, and wide mouths into which they stuffed huge slices of watermelon. They were themselves tasty morsels for alligators. They were routinely shown on postcards, posters, and other ephemera being chased or eaten. Picaninnies were portrayed as nameless, shiftless natural buffoons running from alligators and toward fried chicken.


My mind went back to my favorite song, and my heart just broke. I like the tune of the song, so I changed monkey to chipmunk when I sing it to Isaiah.


So yeah, that man knew EXACTLY what he was doing.


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