‘Negro’ erased from Swedish children’s literature series

The word “negro” will be erased from the new Swedish editions of the book series about Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, Swedish media report. Karin Nyman, Lindgren’s daughter, has given her consent after having pondered the idea for several years.

This year Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking series will celebrate its 70th anniversary and the new Swedish editions due to be published in spring will be slightly different; all notions of the notorious “negro” will be effaced. In the original texts the main character, Pippi, is described as “negro princess” whereas her father is referred to as a “negro king”. From now on Pippi’s father, seafarer Ephraim Longstocking, will be described as the “king of the South Seas”.

“We are replacing a word that is harmful for children,” said Karin Nyman, Lindgren’s daughter and the person who came up with the name for Pippi, in an interview to Dagens Nyheter. “I grew up in another world, when there were only white people in Sweden, and it was long, long before any other people. In the last years I <…> have thought that the ‘n-word’, it is just a word that belongs to history, so it might as well stay? But I have changed my mind because it is a word that is being used today. It is harmful, and therefore we just cannot keep it in the books about Pippi.”

In September 2014, a Swedish TV-channel presented a new edition of the popular Pippi TV-series from 1969, erasing what they called “racist expressions”. They not only changed the description of Pippi’s father, but also deleted the scene where Pippi expressed her notion on what Chinese people look like.

Source: Sputnik News