Sambo's

by

17 comments

Sambos advertisement - 1977
  • Sambo's advertisement - 1977
With its racial overtones and the rather demeaning name of the main character, the children's book Little Black Sambo isn't very easy to find these days.

That's what makes it so hard to believe that, in the 1970s, Memphis had not just one, but three, restaurants in town called Sambo's, which used the jungle and animal imagery from the book as their decorating theme. As you can see from this ad, which I scanned from the back cover of a 1977 Duration Club program, you could take your pick from the Sambo's on Winchester, Summer, or Poplar.

What's interested, too, is that this particular ad didn't feature the little African child as the restaurant's "mascot" but instead the tiger, which — if I remember correctly — was turned into butter when Little Sambo made him run faster and faster around the tree where ... oh, you'll just have to read the book.

All the Sambo's restaurants in Memphis are gone now, in case you were wondering. And, despite the ad, I really doubt if everyone who dined there got balloons.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment
 

Add a comment