Hidden in Plain Sight: The Tragedy of Children's Rights from Ben Franklin to Lionel Tate

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Tragedy of Children's Rights from Ben Franklin to Lionel Tate

by Barbara Bennett Woodhouse
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691126909

ISBN-13: 9780691126906

Pub. Date: 03/10/2008

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Hidden in Plain Sight tells the tragic untold story of children's rights in America. It asks why the United States today, alone among nations, rejects the most universally embraced human-rights document in history, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This book is a call to arms for America to again be a leader in human rights, and to join…  See more details below

Overview

Hidden in Plain Sight tells the tragic untold story of children's rights in America. It asks why the United States today, alone among nations, rejects the most universally embraced human-rights document in history, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This book is a call to arms for America to again be a leader in human rights, and to join the rest of the civilized world in recognizing that the thirst for justice is not for adults alone.

Barbara Bennett Woodhouse explores the meaning of children's rights throughout American history, interweaving the childhood stories of iconic figures such as Benjamin Franklin with those of children less known but no less courageous, like the heroic youngsters who marched for civil rights. How did America become a place where twelve-year-old Lionel Tate could be sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 1999 death of a young playmate? In answering questions like this, Woodhouse challenges those who misguidedly believe that America's children already have more rights than they need, or that children's rights pose a threat to parental autonomy or family values. She reveals why fundamental human rights and principles of dignity, equality, privacy, protection, and voice are essential to a child's journey into adulthood, and why understanding rights for children leads to a better understanding of human rights for all.

Compassionate, wise, and deeply moving, Hidden in Plain Sight will force an examination of our national resistance—and moral responsibility—to recognize children's rights.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691126906
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/10/2008
Series:
Public Square Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

Foreword by Ruth O'Brien xi

Preface xv

Introduction: Ain't I a Person? 1

Chapter 1: How to Think about Childhood 15

Chapter 2: How to Think about Children's Rights 29

Part 1: The Privacy Principle: Stories of Bondage and Belonging

Chapter 3: Boys in Slavery and Servitude: Frederick Douglass 51

Chapter 4: Girls at the Intersection of Age, Race, and Gender: Dred Scott's Daughters 75

Chapter 5: Growing Up in State Custody: "Tony" and "John G." 93

Part 2: The Agency Principle: Stories of Voice and Participation

Chapter 6: The Printer's Apprentice: Ben Franklin and Youth Speech 111

Chapter 7: Youth in the Civil Rights Movement: John Lewis and Sheyann Webb 133

Part 3: The Equality Principle: Stories of Equal Opportunity

Chapter 8: Old Maids and Little Women: Louisa Alcott and William Cather 159

Chapter 9: Breaking the Prison of Disability: Helen Keller and the Children of "Greenhaven" 180

Part 4: The Dignity Principle: Stories of Resistance and Resilience

Chapter 10: Hide and Survive: Anne Frank and "Liu" 213

Chapter 11: Children at Work: Newsboys, Entrepreneurs, and "Evelyn" 234

Part 5: The Protection Principle: Stories of Guilt and Innocence

Chapter 12: Telling the Scariest Secrets: Maya Angelou and "Jeannie" 259

Chapter 13: Age and the Idea of Innocence: "Amal" and Lionel Tate 279

CONCLUSION: The Future of Rights 304

Notes 315

Bibliography 337

Index 349

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