The Complexities of #OwnVoices in Children's Literature

The writing of this introduction coincides with the recent murder of George Floyd, a Black man whose cries that he could not breathe were ignored by the white police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes. Ultimately, if we truly believe that children's books serve as windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors (Bishop, 1990), and if we believe that children's books shape the minds and lives of young readers, and if we believe that children's books don't merely reflect but help create the reality in which we live, it is essential that the field ceases the perpetual spinning that allows those in positions of power and privilege to stay perplexed or continue to "take time to think and read" without doing anything else and ultimately leave the field unchanged. In "The Present Past: Black Authors and the Anti-Black Selective Tradition in Children's Literature," Roberta Price Gardner defines an anti-Black selective tradition in children's literature and uses historical and contemporary examples of children's books to demonstrate the need for students and educators to engage in critical racial literacy practices to counter the anti-Black selective tradition in youth publishing.



Work Title The Complexities of #OwnVoices in Children's Literature
Open Access
  1. Thomas Crisp
  2. Mary Napoli
  3. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw
  4. Angie Zapata
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Journal of Children's Literature
Publication Date 2020
Related URLs
Deposited July 27, 2021




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  • Added Creator Thomas Crisp
  • Added Creator Mary Napoli
  • Added Creator Vivian Yenika-Agbaw
  • Added Creator Angie Zapata
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