Growing up, many poured over the tales and adventures of Babar the elephant. Young adult readers the world over thrilled to the story of a young elephant escaping the jungle and becoming civilized in the big city, only to return to his community to help run it with his new knowledge. But the story’s origins are much darker than most people realize. Many have argued that the early Babar stories - originally written by Jean De Brunhoff in the mid-20th century - are an allegory for French colonialism in Africa. Reading through the history, it's shocking to see all the examples of colonialism in Babar. But is Babar racist?
A lot of hidden symbolism seems to point in that direction. Some argue that Brunhoff meant it as satire. But, the way Africans – both people and animals – are portrayed makes you wonder if the subject matter is comedic in any way.
In The Land Of Quadrupedal Elephants, The Bipedal Elephant Is King
Even Laurent Jean De Brunhoff Realized His Early Work Was Pretty Racist
'Babar's Travels' Was Banned From A UK Library Because Of How It Depicted Black Africans
An Old Rich White Lady Saves The Poor Uncultured African
The Indoctrinated Person (Babar) Converts Others To European Way Of Life
There Are Entire Books Dedicated To How ‘Babar’ Is Racist