First edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Last week Roald Dahl’s widow, Felicity Dahl, revealed in a BBC interview that Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was originally a black character.

Mr. Dahl’s biographer, Donald Sturrock, elaborated on this:

“It was his agent who thought it was a bad idea when the book was first published to have a black hero,” Mr. Sturrock said. “She said people would ask why.”

Do I even need to get into the problems with lack of diversity in publishing?

The New York Times offers more details about the BBC interview in this article.