DIANNE JOHNSON is Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Carolina. Her academic interests are children's literature, African American literature, and American folk and popular culture. She has also written two articles which have recently been published in the Children's Literature Association Quarterly, and is editing an anthology of African American children's literature and illustration.
Telling Talesby Dianne Johnson-Feelings
This work examines the development of African American literature for young peoplein terms of recurrent thematic content and underlying philosophiesfrom 1920 to the present. Johnson provides a close reading of various texts including 1) The Brownies' Book magazine, edited by W.E.B. Du Bois and Jessie Fauset from January 1920 through December 1921/i>
This work examines the development of African American literature for young peoplein terms of recurrent thematic content and underlying philosophiesfrom 1920 to the present. Johnson provides a close reading of various texts including 1) The Brownies' Book magazine, edited by W.E.B. Du Bois and Jessie Fauset from January 1920 through December 1921; 2) fiction, non-fiction, and poetry written by Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps in the 1930s and 1940s, and the historical fiction that their work prefigures; 3) the picture book canon of Lucille Clifton, poet laureate of Maryland and Pulitzer nominee, and one of the most prolific writers of verse and prose for children. The book also features illustrations representing books published between 1920 and the present. Included among these is a cover from The Brownies' Book magazine, a wood-cut from Hughes and Bontemps' 1932 Popa and Fifina, and a painting from Harriet and the Promised Land, written and illustrated by celebrated artist Jacob Lawrence, and an illustration by John Steptoe.
Telling Tales takes a fresh new look at material that has long been neglected. Until recently, most critics have examined not African American children's literature itself, but (mis) representations and stereotypes of black people in mainstream literature. This current study is an attempt to redirect critical inquiry in the field. The book creates a space for further critical study that will more fully explore issues herein: the relationship between the publishing industry and the development of African American children's literature; the nature of the relationship between African American adult and children's literature; the relationship between word and image, and more. Most importantly, the book provides a useful introduction and model for reading this literature for a broad audience that includes parents, teachers, librarians, other educators, and scholars of African American letters.
- ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies Series, #13
- Product dimensions:
- 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.50(d)
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