Sambo Was Indian, Not African
James Lileks was dubious about the Indian theme at a restaurant named Sambo's:
And even when it was Sambos, the mascot wasnt that dreadful pickaninny archetype - this Sambo was an Indian child. That always made me wonder why they named the place Sambos at all.On the other hand, I checked The Story of Little Black Sambo:
Gentlemen, I propose a nationwide chain of restaurants based after an old story about a clever colored boy. Well call it Sambos.
Fine, boss, but thats not going to go over well. In the North, anyway. Why dont we make him an Indian child? I mean India Indian.
Brilliant! Little Brahmin Sambo. Our dinner values are Untouchable!
NOTE: The "Story of Little Black Sambo" is rarely told any more, because it is presumed to be racist. However, examination of the story shows that it is about India, not Africa. The story refers to "ghe", a type of butter used in India. Also, tigers exist in India but not in Africa. The only thing African about the story is the "mb" sound in Sambo and Jumbo, which is a sound commonly heard in African languages.