Children's Literature of the Harlem Renaissance

Children's Literature of the Harlem Renaissance

Katharine Capshaw Smith
Distribution: World
Publication date: 6/14/2004
ISBN: 978-0-253-11092-3
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a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2005; Winner 2006 Children's Literature Assn Book Award
The Harlem Renaissance, the period associated with the flowering of the arts in Harlem, inaugurated a tradition of African American children’s literature, for the movement’s central writers made youth both their subject and audience. W.E.B. Du Bois, Carter G. Woodson, Langston Hughes, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and other Harlem Renaissance figures took an impassioned interest in the literary models offered to children, believing that the “New Negro” would ultimately arise from black youth. As a result, African American children’s literature became a crucial medium through which a disparate community forged bonds of cultural, economic, and aesthetic solidarity. Kate Capshaw Smith explores the period’s vigorous exchange about the nature and identity of black childhood and uncovers the networks of African American philosophers, community activists, schoolteachers, and literary artists who worked together to transmit black history and culture to the next generation.

Author Bio

Katharine Capshaw Smith is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, where she teaches children’s literature and African American literature. Her work has appeared in Children’s Literature; Southern Quarterly; The Lion and the Unicorn; Melus: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States; Ariel; and other publications.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. The Emblematic Black Child: Du Bois's
Crisis Publications
2. Creating the Past, Present, and Future: New Negro Children's Drama
3. The Legacy of the South: Revisiting the Plantation Tradition
4. The Peacemakers: Carter G. Woodson's Circle
5. The Aesthetics of Black Children's Literature: Arna Bontemps and Langston Hughes