Palm Beach County Library System Hosts Conversation with Expert to Talk Dr. Seuss, Racism, and Children’s Literature

Event Will Take Place amid Rising Anti-Asian Bigotry and Violence Nationwide

The Palm Beach County Library System is hosting a conversation with Dr. Philip Nel, University Distinguished Professor of English at Kansas State University and noted Dr. Seuss scholar, to discuss Dr. Seuss and racism in children’s literature, especially in the context of rising anti-Asian hate nationwide. “The Dr. Seuss Controversy: Racism and Children’s Literature” will take place on Wednesday, April 7 at 6:30 PM eastern time via Zoom.

“The recent uptick in anti-AAPI violence underscores how important it is to have this conversation now,” said Joe Dellosa, children and teen services library specialist and the moderator of the event. “We’re looking forward to a smart, thoughtful event that will go beyond hot takes — less heat and more light.”

Dr. Seuss and his books have been the subject of controversy when Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced on March 2 that it would be discontinuing publication of six of Dr. Seuss’s children’s books due to racist content. Much of the racist content features caricatures of Asian people.

The event will include a discussion of Dr. Seuss’s political cartoons and propaganda work early in his career, the racist content in the six discontinued books, and what this means for the legacy of the author.

Those interested in taking part in the conversation can register online at www.tinyurl.com/SeussEvent. Like all Palm Beach County Library System events, it is free and open to the public.

About Dr. Philip Nel: Dr. Philip Nel is University Distinguished Professor of English at Kansas State University. He is the author or co-editor of thirteen books, including Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books (2017).