Can You Read This Picture?
This is a classic example of a mid-nineteenth-century primer in that it has a wood-engraved illustration on nearly page with simply worded text about the picture below. Here we see a lame African American beggar receiving money from a well dressed white boy. The caption text asks the reader to point to “the little black boy”--who apparently is a fairly middle-class looking boy with the dog in the back. It pushes the envelope on our modern pre-conceived ideas of how people of color are portrayed in antebellum children’s books.
Adopted by M. R. Boatwright McEvoy