Agatha Christie’s ” Ten Little Nigg@rs” : The Most Racist Children’s Novel Ever Published

0 Posted by - September 8, 2019 - BLACK ART & LITERATURE, JIM CROW, LATEST POSTS, Video

Ten Little Niggers is the name of a children’s poem, sometimes set to music, which celebrates the deaths of ten Black children, one-by-one. The Three Golliwogs was reprinted as recently as 1968, and it still contained the above passage. Ten Little Niggers5 was also the name of a 1939 Agatha Christie novel, whose cover showed a Golliwog lynched, hanging from a noose.

In 1939, Agatha Christie, the popular fiction writer, published a novel called Ten Little Nigg@rs. Later editions sometimes changed the name to Ten Little Indians, or And Then There Were None, but as late as 1978, copies of the book with the original title were being produced into the 1980s. It was not rare for sheet music produced in the first half of the 20th century to use the word nigger on the cover. The Howley, Haviland Company of New York, produced sheet music for the songs “Hesitate Mr. Nigger, Hesitate,” and “You’se Just A Little Nigg@r, Still You’se Mine, All Mine.” The latter was billed as a children’s lullaby.



  • anonymous August 31, 2016 - 9:16 pm

    Have you ever read the book? It’s not a children’s book – never was! Get your facts right!!

    • R S M December 23, 2020 - 12:25 pm

      He never said it was a children’s book. He said it was a children’s poem and then lullaby. Agatha Christie used the poem as the pattern the murderer follows in her book,”Ten Little Niggers”. The name was changed to “Ten Little Indians”, and then to the last line in the poem,” And Then There Were None”.

      • popcaan December 29, 2020 - 9:43 pm

        Yes he di say it was a children’s book. It’s right there in his title. “The most racist children’s novel ever published.”

  • Me January 10, 2017 - 8:28 pm

    Children’s book? Not at all. It’s a crime book, and a very violent at it.

  • Valerie Baptiste August 13, 2017 - 1:32 pm

    Have you read Agatha Christie? It’s not a book for kids and there is actually no reference to race in the content. The title was in keeping with popular culture at a time when casual bigotry was no big deal. I’m not excusing it, just making the point. The story here is not the title but rather the fact that an acclaimed writer used it with absolute impunity.
    P.S, It’s a great read.

  • Sarah February 25, 2018 - 1:04 am

    there are indeed children’s versions of the book. Our 11 old daughter attends a French school and “Dix petits nègres” (Ten Little Niggers) was one of the books they were requested to read during their summer break last year. The French version is still published in the original title and I must say our daughter deeply disturbed by the it, despite the fact that the story was not about blacks.ègres-Agatha-Christie/dp/201000910X

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