Pickaninny Dreams



Title: Pickaninny Dreams, Lyrics By: Sam Coslow, Music By: Peter De Rose, Published By: F.B. Haviland Pub. Co., Location: New York, Year: 1919

Pickaninny is a term in English which refers to dark-skinned children usually of African descent or a racial caricature thereof. It is a pidgin word form, which may be derived from the Portuguese pequenino (an affectionate term derived from pequeno, “little”). The term pickaninny has also been used in the past to describe Aboriginal Australians. According to the scholar Robin Bernstein, who describes the meaning in the context of the United States, the pickaninny is characterized by three qualities: “the figure is always juvenile, always of color, and always resistant if not immune to pain”. At one time the word may have been used as a term of endearment, but it is now considered derogatory or racist.