Enid Mary Blyton is one of the world’s most successful children’s writer, with over 600 million copies of her work sold. Blyton’s literary output was estimated around 800 books between 1922 and her death in 1967, and has since been translated into nearly 90 languages.
Enid Blyton’s work involves children’s adventure stories, and fantasy. She is best known for her Noddy books, as well as the young adult serials Famous Five, and Secret Seven. The modern editions of her books are said to be written from a middle-class perspective, containing heavy morals and strong purpose. Interestingly, almost all of her texts have required heavy editing since the 1960s in order to keep pace with social norms and values.
Taken from a modern perspective Blyton’s original work is heavily prejudice in its presentation of class, gender and racial issues. The girls of her stories are confined to judgement of the their male counterparts, and almost all minorities and coloured characters are resigned to harmful and ignorant stereotypes.
In modern editions of her book The Three Golliwogs the Golliwogs names are Wiggie, Waggie and Wollie. In the original edition, as written by Blyton in 1944 the main characters are called Golly, Woggie and Nigger. Similarly disturbing are recurring colloquial statements like “black as a nigger with soot” that appear in several of her Famous Five novels. This type of language was one of the most obvious targets for alteration in modern reprints, along with the replacement of golliwogs with teddy bears or goblins.
Mae Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space. After her medical education and a brief general practice, Jemison served in the Peace Corps in Africa from 1985 to 1987. She joined NASA in 1987, and went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. She resigned from NASA in 1993 to form a company researching the application of technology to daily life. In addition to her achievements in science she is an accomplished actor, dancer and public speaker.
Mae Carol Jemison was born in Decatur, Alabama, the youngest child of Charlie Jemison and Dorothy Green. Her father was a maintenance supervisor for a charity organization, and her mother worked most of her career as an elementary school teacher of English and math at the Beethoven School in Chicago. The family moved to Chicago, Illinois, when Jemison was three years old, to take advantage of better educational opportunities there. Jemison says that as a young girl growing up in Chicago she always assumed she would get into space. “I thought, by now, we’d be going into space like you were going to work.” She said it was easier to apply to be a shuttle astronaut, “rather than waiting around in a cornfield, waiting for ET to pick me up or something.”
Jemison wouldn’t let anyone dissuade her from pursuing a career in science. “In kindergarten, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I told her a scientist,” Jemison says. “She said, ‘Don’t you mean a nurse?’ Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a nurse, but that’s not what I wanted to be.”