*You, too, Dr. Seuss?
An early drawing by the famed children’s author that uses exaggerated racial stereotypes and the N-word in reference to black people, is being auctioned for a minimum bid of $20,000.
The 1929 color illustration for “Judge” magazine features a four-panel drawing titled ”Cross-Section of The World’s Most Prosperous Department Store.” The artist depicts scenarios in which rich men can purchase items to make their lives more difficult.
These include a fly for your ointment and a monkey wrench for your machinery. The final and largest panel features a crowd of men rendered in blackface caricature, with dark skin and pronounced red lips, being presented to a white shopper. A sign reads: “A nigger for your woodpile.”
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the racist expression was used back in the day to signify “something (as a concealed motive or obscure factor) contrary to appearances in a situation.”
There were no bids as of 8 p.m. ET Thursday and the lot was closed for bidding, according to CNN. The drawing will be kept for a while, in case of a post-auction bid, according to auction manager Laura Yntema.
Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, was 25 when the illustration was created. He would begin publishing his popular children’s books eight years later.
The auction house, Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs and Memorabilia, states on its website that the illustration contains “shockingly racist content.”
The auction house will not reveal the seller or the buyer unless given permission.