- The Washington Times - Monday, June 25, 2018

A division of the American Library Association voted unanimously over the weekend to strip Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from a major children’s book award because of the way she portrayed blacks and Native Americans in her popular “Little House on the Prairie” books.

The Association for Library Service to Children agreed to rename the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award the “Children’s Literature Legacy Award,” explaining that the early-to-mid 20th century author’s works included “expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values.”

The board’s vote Saturday in New Orleans was met with a standing ovation, according to a blog post on the event. The board had created a task force to examine the issue back in January, saying Wilder’s legacy was “complex” and her works “not universally embraced.”

“It continues to be a focus of scholarship and literary analysis, which often brings to light anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments in her work,” the board said at the time. “The ALSC Board recognizes that legacy may no longer be consistent with the intention of the award named for her.”

The first award was given to Wilder in 1954, three years before her death. In 1952, she apologized amid criticism for the opening sentences of “Little House on the Prairie,” which state, “there were no people. Only Indians lived there.”

Wilder called the line a “stupid blunder,” The Spectator reported in January.

“Of course Indians are people and I did not mean to imply they were not,” the author said at the time.

The line was later amended to say, “No settlers, only Indians,” Yahoo reported.

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