BBC Breakfast TV: The “Golliwog” on The Wall. Should it be removed?

I received the call for this interview at 3pm. At midnight I arrived in Mancehster. I woke 5am this morning and arrrived at the studio at 7.45am and did the interview on BBC Breakfast. The Robertsons of Robertsons Jam  were a Scottish family.   My publishers are  based in Edinburgh and President Obama’s books are licensed and published throughout Europe by the same publisher – Canongate Books.  My foster grandfather was Duncan Munro of Lochinver where I spent allot of my childhood.  Later on today I will be back in London to meet  The Duke of Edinburgh.  Maybe I should have a word with him. See. Things are not always as black and white as they seem. Watch the BBC debate (it’s seven minutes) and tell me if you think the mural should be removed from  Wardie  Primary School in Edinburgh?  The picture is below.


4 thoughts on “BBC Breakfast TV: The “Golliwog” on The Wall. Should it be removed?

  1. “In many respects, historically, this could be seen as an anti-racist statement . . . ” In what alternate universe?

  2. Lemn Sissay – you shone with intelligence and integrity. Everyone else in this ‘interview’ was an utter disgrace. I’m appalled that in 2013 we still have to argue that golliwogs are not acceptable. But sadly not surprised.

  3. Being told I am biased because I am black, I embraced it. I was then inclined to recall the many pictures of the dining rooms with the ‘Maame’s’ in the background, awaiting the prompt to refill the teacup…or the hanging black men being surrounded by the proud white hangmen..and decided to cover it up….with my hands but it was still there…in my mind…Then it occurred to me that these are also educative!. Would I be wrong to say that they are educative to primary school children?

  4. Naming something as a “work of art” is a way of bestowing a sense of authenticity and authority upon something. Personally I do not go along with the idea that “anything can be art” and nor do I believe that all works named as art (and created with skill, integrity, merit) etc should be treated as sacrosanct. I feel that because this mural was created in times when racism was far more entrenched, the golliwog is figure is now treated as a dilemma, less troubling given the distance of time and “we all know better now”. … Surely if we do know better we wouldn’t tolerate the figure’s inclusion, it would be painted out, or the mural removed to a museum (and a copy made, minus the racist caricature)…

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