Before he rose to fame with “The Cat in the Hat,” Dr. Seuss’ art was quite racist.

In a 1929 he depicted black people for sale with a racist sign in the image’s background. “Take home a high-grade [n–ger] for your woodpile. Satisfaction guaranteed,” read the heading.

The illustration went to auction in California at the Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs and Memorabilia house with a minimum bid of $20,000 on Thursday (May 28), CNN reported.

By the end, there hadn’t been any bids, but it could receive a post-auction bid, according to Laura Yntema, the auction manager, BET reported.

The drawing is one part of a four-part panel drawing called Cross-Section of the World’s Most Prosperous Department Store.

Before the writer, real name Theodor Seuss Geisel, convinced generations of children that a wocket might just be in their pocket, he was the chief editorial cartoonist for the New York newspaper PM from 1940 to 1948.

During his tenure he cranked out some 400 cartoons – many which would be considered offensive nowadays. But began to atone for his previous views producing several anti-racism illustrations and cartoons later on his career.

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  • Me

    that pic was more than 60 yrs after slavery ended in this country. this is why i side eye anybody that thinks mlk dying 50 yrs ago means racism is over. just b/c your 1 or 2 generations removed from a worse time in our history doesn’t mean you don’t still carry the hatred from the past. i’m sure seuss became anti-slavery in life so that he could be more pro-money in his career.

    • Chazz A


  • Mary Burrell

    I saw this on another website and i was kind of sad because i love all of those books as kid, but then again i also learned Walt Disney was racist and anti semitic.

    • [email protected]

      Also, Walt Disney was rumored to be an FBI informer too.

    • Mary Burrell

      hmm….. I am wouldn’t be surprised

    • [email protected]

      Me neither. Goodnight Mary Burrell.

    • Naffy70

      To be fair, this is before he had a change of heart and began making anti-racist illustrations…

    • Vintage

      What are anti-racist illustrations?

    • Vintage

      Agreed, Mary. I love those books too and always thought Seuss was so funny and witty, so this is actually a disappointment. Next we’ll find out Charlie Brown’s creator was in the kkk and Snoopy was originally a slavemaster or nazi. I am getting to the point where nothing whites do shocks me, genocide is so easy for many of them. Or they will jump through hoops to dismiss it, many would say Seuss wasn’t to blame for his hatred because it was the time he lived in.

      Isn’t it a strange way to live, where it’s easy to forget that evil exists while you just enjoy life, culture, entertainment, etc because we are human. Then once again we are reminded that so many of these people are so demonic while carrying on normal activities, it’s like they are from another planet.

  • Chazz A

    Most cartoons during that era depicted black people negatively. It was part of a powerful propaganda machine intended to entertain Caucasians by conditioning them to believe the false ideology of white supremacy.
    I remember getting mad a my parents when I was a kid because they would not let us watch the old cartoons. Even the early Little Rascals and Our Gang shows were racist.

    • Mary Burrell

      Yeah they were used to make me so angry

    • Vintage

      Yeah, like those Tom & Jerry cartoons with the obese black maid speaking in exaggerated southern vernacular, like a mammy stereotype. How does someone sit down to write a show for kids, and find a way to incorporate a false sense of white supremacy like you noted?

    • Chazz A

      Right and the most disturbing thing to me is this bs continues to happen in 2015; Caucasians in blackface, racist frat songs, racist caricatures of the President and First Lady,etc..
      There is no such thing as a “post racial society” with all of this garbage still happening SMH

  • Rizzo

    a horrible picture and the thoughts behind it even worse. but, i bet somebody will purchase it.