A Relic of a Racist Era


Oh boy. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I got this book. I found out about Blanche G. Oliver due to the library’s collection of WPA documents. Blanche was in charge of the local Federal Writers Project and her signature was on many of the documents. I looked on newspapers.com and found many News-Star articles about her. She was big in the local theater scene and was a guest speaker at many area clubs. This was all during the period between 1930 and the 1960’s. I found that in 1931, she wrote and published the above book in Monroe. I try to collect Monroe area books, so I found a copy of it online and bought it. I wish I hadn’t. It is definitely a product of it’s time. It is basically a book of verses, written by a white person in the dialect and point of view of what they thought African-Americans thought and sounded like…N words and all. Yikes! Ah well. I’ll hide it on my bookshelf behind my other Monroe related books for my heirs to deal with as they see fit!

As a side note, my Department Head is currently working with the Louisiana Digital Library site to digitize all our WPA papers to be placed online. She hopes to have the first batch up sometime within the next few months. As soon as it goes live, I’ll be sure and let you guys know!

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