PREPARING FUTURE LEADERS OF THEIR RACES -THE POLITICAL FUNCTION OF CHILDREN’S CHARACTERS IN CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN AMERICAN PICTURE-BOOKS
Aim. The aim of the article is to analyse the ways African American children’s characters are constructed in selected picture-books and to determine whether they have any impact on the conduct of contemporary black youth facing discrimination in their own lives. It also argues that picture-books are one of the most influential media in the representation of racial problems.
Methods. The subjects of the study are picture-books. The analysis pertains to the visual and the verbal narrative of the books, with a special emphasis being placed on the interplay between text and image as well as on the ways the meaning of the books is created. The texts are analysed using a number of existing research methods used for examining the picture-book format.
Results. The article shows that the actions of selected children’s characters, whether real or imaginary, may serve as an incentive for contemporary youth to struggle for equal rights and contribute to the process of racial integration on a daily basis.
Conclusions. The results can be considered in the process of establishing educational curricula for students from minority groups who need special literature that would empower them to take action and join in the efforts of adult members of their communities.
Beauvais, C. (2015). The Mighty Child: Time and Power in Children’s Literature. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Bridges, R. (1999). Through My Eyes. New York: Scholastic Press.
Capshaw, K. (2014). Civil Rights Childhood: Picturing Liberation in African American Photobooks. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Coles, R. (1995). The Story of Ruby Bridges. New York: Scholastic.
Davis, O. (1998). The Rhetoric of Quilts: Creating Identity in African-American Children’s Literature. African American Review, 32, 67-76.
Du Bois, W.E.B. (1919). The True Brownies. The Crisis, 18, 285-286.
Johnson-Feelings, D. (Ed.) (1996). The Best of the Brownies’ Book. New York: Oxford University Press.
Joosen, V. (2018). Adulthood in Children’s Literature. London and New York: Bloomsbery Academic.
Nikolajeva, M. (2005). Aesthetic Approaches to Children’s Literature: An Introduction. Langham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
Nikolajeva, M. (2002). The Rhetoric of Character in Children’s Literature. Oxford: Scarecrow Books.
Nikolajeva, M., Scott, C. (2006). How Picturebooks Work. New York: Routledge.
Ringgold, F. (1991). Tar Beach. New York: Scholastic.
Ringgold, F. (1993). Dinner at Aunt Connie’s House. New York: Scholastic.
Schaffer, C. (2012). The Brownies’ Book: Inspiring Racial Pride in African-American Children. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Schwarz, J.H. (1982). Ways of the Illustrator: Visual Communication in Children’s Literature. Chicago: American Library Association.
Wolcott, J. (1998). Faith Ringgold’s Patchwork Sojourn. The Christian Science Monitor, 90(246), 22.
Copyright (c) 2019 Ewa Klęczaj-Siara
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. All authors agree for publishing their email adresses, affiliations and short bio statements with their articles during the submission process.