ERIC Number: ED343128
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Multiethnic Literature: Holding Fast to Dreams. Technical Report No. 551.
Reimer, Kathryn Meyer
Despite the importance of children's literature written by and about people of color, little multiethnic literature is available. However, the situation has improved somewhat. In recent years there has been a greater focus in African-American literature upon folk tales, family stories, family histories, and biographies. Still, books about the Hispanic, Asian, or Native American experience mostly have tended to be written about, not by, members of those groups. An examination of stories from trade books and basal reading programs presented on the third-grade level found no non-white main characters. No other ethnic groups were represented. A similar scarcity of multicultural content was found in former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett's suggested reading list and Jim Trelease's 1989 reading list. Readers from commercial publishers reflected greater diversity. The examination of multiethnic literature raises such questions as: who is writing the works; how ethnic groups are portrayed in illustrations; whether stereotypes are employed; whether separate cultures are grouped together under such labels as "Hispanic" or "Asian"; how broad an ethnic selection of reading material is presented to children; and how long multiethnic literature remains in publication. As multiethnic literature is made more available, demand for it will increase. (A list of 44 references is attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Reading Research and Education Center, Champaign, IL.