Essay on Children 's Literature : A Majority White World

1498 Words Dec 9th, 2016 6 Pages
Children’s Literature: A Majority-White World

In 2008, it seemed as though America had finally broken away from the ties of racism which had plagued the country for so long and finally illustrated the value of the black community when the first black man, Barack Obama, was elected to the Presidency. Unsurprisingly, the rise of Obama aided the rise of books about the African-American community; a laughable record high was reached with almost 6% of children’s books writing about people of color! If that 6% number wasn’t already shocking enough, since 2008 the percentage of books written about black children has declined 1-2%, reaching a record low.

The overall fluctuation of people of color in children’s books, specifically the African American community, uncovers the little value black communities receive because, if you are not depicted by your society, how can you say you are respected by your society? Since I firmly believe that who we write about signifies their importance in society, clearly the mainstream American society does not see the value in the black community or find this community significant enough to speak about or portray in an every day, leisurely activity such as reading. Thus, through this investigation of the diminutive representations of African-American communities in children’s books, I will argue that one American cultural representation of childhood is the black child as insignificant, or the black child not as the “child” mainstream…

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