'Peter Rabbit' children's book series under attack as 'problematic': 'Owe a debt' to African slave folk tales
Dr. Emily Zobel Marshall claims that Peter Rabbit is suspiciously similar to Brer Rabbit, a character from African folk tales
Beatrix Potter, an author who is known for children’s stories like "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and died in 1943, is being accused of taking her stories from African slave tales.
Dr. Emily Zobel Marshall, a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and an expert in Postcolonial theory recently made waves in the literary world after she alleged that Potter’s beloved children tales are more likely than not taken from "Brer Rabbit," in stories that originally date back to pre-colonial Africa.
"Her tales owe a debt to the Brer Rabbit stories told by enslaved Africans working on American plantations that needs to be fully acknowledged," Marshall wrote in an article published May 19.
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Brer Rabbit, Marshall explained, was a "cunning trickster was known for outwitting his often more powerful animal adversaries using brains rather than brawn." Peter Rabbit, on the other hand, is famous for wearing a blue jacket and coming up with mischievous plots.
Marshall added that Potter’s attempts to "steer readers away from her sources are problematic" and that while the books are viewed as a part of British culture, they are, in fact, about "resistance and survival tactics of the plantation life of enslaved people in the Americas."
Marshall did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
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"Peter Rabbit" is not the only children’s book series that has come under attack from academics.
This year, author Roald Dahl's old books have made international headlines after Puffin altered numerous descriptions of certain characters' physical appearances, removed references to some characters being fat and changed some language to be gender-neutral.
Augustus Gloop, the chubby character featured in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," is now described as "enormous," while Mrs. Twit, a character from "The Twits," is described as just "beastly" instead of "ugly and beastly."
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Fox News' Kyle Morris contributed to this report.