National Read Across America Day is an annual celebration that aims to foster an interest in books amongst young readers across the United States. For many years, the event has been held in conjunction with Dr. Seuss Day, another literary celebration held on March 2nd. But fresh scrutiny of Dr. Seuss is causing many to voice their decry the author’s works.
Loudoun Public Schools stated that “Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss”.
Dr. Seuss, though remembered primarily for his contributions to literature, had a history of publishing pieces containing anti-Semitism and racism,
In a 2019 study analyzing 50 of Seuss’s works, 43 of 45 characters were found to depict characters of color with “characteristics aligning with the definition of Orientalism.”. And the two “African” characters found in Suess’s books were both illustrated with anti-Black characteristics.
Meanwhile, the majority of human characteristics found in Dr. Seuss’s books are white. This forcibly, and seemingly purposefully makes whiteness a central focus of his works.