ERIC Number: ED433394
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr-23
Art or Propaganda? Pedagogy and Politics in Illustrated African-American Children's Literature since the Harlem Renaissance.
This paper explores assumptions about children's political thinking as reflected in African American children's literature, with particular attention to picture books and illustrated magazine stories. Framed in terms of the "art or propaganda" distinction that the Harlem Renaissance philosopher Alain Locke used to clarify the role of art in social change, the paper discusses how African American children's literature since the Harlem Renaissance has taken up issues of race and racism. Many books have been intended to combat racism, but neither the artistic nor political merits of a book guarantee its success in an antiracist curriculum. One contribution that educational research can make is challenging the assumption by white teachers that a well-intentioned book will not be offensive to people of color. Research can help sensitize teachers to the issues they need to consider and it can provide a context for deciding the appropriateness of a particular book in the classroom. The example of the book "Nappy Hair" by Carolivia Herron shows that a book may be regarded very differently by different groups. (Contains 22 endnotes and 64 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A