African American children’s literature: The first one hundred years

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


African Americans have been depicted in general literature since the seventeenth century. This chapter examines the historical development of literature written for African American children from the late nineteenth century, discusses possible trends in African American children’s literature, and assesses the value of that literature to literacy education. Literature created by African Americans for children first appeared in the late nineteenth century. The expansion of the new literary tradition awaited the development of an educated African American middle class which demanded culturally authentic literature for African American children. The tradition of providing literary models for children to emulate continued with Bontemps, who early expressed concern about the dearth of biographies for African American children. Culturally conscious literature, according to R. Sims, comes nearer to “constituting a body of Afro-American literature for children. The works these culturally conscious authors create are not monolithic; they present the range of African American experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFreedom’s Plow
Subtitle of host publicationTeaching in the Multicultural Classroom
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781136646782
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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