White Supremacy in Children's Literature: Characterizations of African Americans, 1830-1900, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

White Supremacy in Children's Literature

Characterizations of African Americans, 1830-1900, 1st Edition

By Donnarae MacCann


274 pages

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New in Paperback: 9780415928908
pub: 2000-11-17
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203905111
pub: 2013-02-01
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This penetrating study of the white supremacy myth in books for the young adds an important dimension to American intellectual history. The study pinpoints an intersecting adult and child culture: it demonstrates that many children's stories had political, literary, and social contexts that paralleled the way adult books, schools, churches, and government institutions similarly maligned black identity, culture, and intelligence. The book reveals how links between the socialization of children and conservative trends in the 19th century foretold 20th century disregard for social justice in American social policy. The author demonstrates that cultural pluralism, an ongoing corrective to white supremacist fabrications, is informed by the insights and historical assessments offered in this study.


"…rich and comprehensive…If ever there was a text for …children's literature historians and professors …to invest time in and give serious attention to the portrayal of African Americans …this is it…Clearly, MacCann's book is of importance. …The searing focus of her book does…enlighten and extend existing knowledge on the history of white supremacy in children's literature…" -- History of Reading News

"MacCann's book explains so much about the racial situation in the US today that it should not be restricted to those studying children's literature. It should be in every library and read by all those who expect "the arts and institutions to maximize social justice"." -- Choice

About the Series

Children's Literature and Culture

Founding Editor and Series Editor 1994-2011: Jack Zipes

Series Editor, 2011-2018: Philip Nel


Founded by Jack Zipes in 1994, Children's Literature and Culture is the longest-running series devoted to the study of children’s literature and culture from a national and international perspective. Dedicated to promoting original research in children’s literature and children’s culture, in 2011 the series expanded its focus to include childhood studies, and it seeks to explore the legal, historical, and philosophical conditions of different childhoods. An advocate for scholarship from around the globe, the series recognizes innovation and encourages interdisciplinarity. Children's Literature and Culture offers cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections considering topics such as gender, race, picturebooks, childhood, nation, religion, technology, and many others. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature