I read this story yesterday. At this point this nonsense is just old news. I can only shake my head in disgust and lucky for me I’m a physical book lover, my favorites being children’s books. Thus, I have a large number of children’s books in my collection. A while ago I picked up a 1991 75th anniversary edition of the first Nancy Drew book. This was a series I read as a child in the ’50s and ’60s, along with my brother’ Hardy Boys.
Reading the Publisher’s Notes and an Introduction by Sara Parentsky I felt like I had no idea what series of books they were speaking of.
First, when reading the part of the story where the main characters interacted with a black property caretaker, there was never a uncourteous interaction and the only thing you could stretch into racism was the black man’s dialect. Stereotypical black, southern vocabulary. Now, if you want to talk cultural dialect, I’ll tell you, coming from the west coast to the south, I’ve had some good laughs communicating with white southerners. I guess that’s not raciest. My point, we really are different depending on where we were raised, life style, economics, race etc. which does not mean we’re bad people just undeniably different. I found the text written by Sara Parentsky particularly offensive. A book for young women and she gets right to the point of sexism and the basic worthlessness of the Nancy’s boyfriend. Rather than the reader (child?) coming to their own conclusion on race and male, female interactions and maybe parents discussing the books with the child, the agenda driven adults have already planted seeds of discourse.
I read the book with this in mind and found, in my opinion, the remarks were without context. I wondered if either person had read these books or simply chose to ignore reality to preach their slanted version. Nancy was always depicted as a capable girl, the boyfriend was never other than chivalrous, unlike the majority of men today, and can be seen coming to her rescue on more than one occasion.
This publication was, as I said, 1991. So, let’s be honest. This rewriting and skewing history and literature et al to reflect the given opinion of the moment isn’t a 21st century phenomenon.