A Centennial Celebration of The Brownies' Book - Dianne Johnson-Feelings; Jonda C. McNair; Rudine Sims Bishop; | Foyles Bookstore
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A Centennial Celebration of The Brownies' Book
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A Centennial Celebration of The Brownies' Book (Hardback)

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Contributions by Jani L. Barker, Rudine Sims Bishop, Julia S. Charles-Linen, Paige Gray, Dianne Johnson-Feelings, Jonda C. McNair, Sara C. VanderHaagen, and Michelle Taylor Watts

The Brownies' Book occupies a special place in the history of African American children's literature. Informally the children's counterpart to the NAACP's The Crisis magazine, it was one of the first periodicals created primarily for Black youth. Several of the objectives the creators delineated in 1919 when announcing the arrival of the publication-"To make them familiar with the history and achievements of the Negro race" and "To make colored children realize that being 'colored' is a beautiful, normal thing"-still resonate with contemporary creators, readers, and scholars of African American children's literature.

The meticulously researched essays in A Centennial Celebration of "The Brownies' Book" get to the heart of The Brownies' Book "project" using critical approaches both varied and illuminating. Contributors to the volume explore the underappreciated role of Jessie Redmon Fauset in creating The Brownies' Book and in the cultural life of Black America; describe the young people who immersed themselves in the pages of the periodical; focus on the role of Black heroes and heroines; address The Brownies' Book in the context of critical literacy theory; and place The Brownies' Book within the context of Black futurity and justice. Bookending the essays are, reprinted in full, the first and last issues of the magazine.

A Centennial Celebration of "The Brownies' Book" illuminates the many ways in which the magazine-simultaneously beautiful, complicated, problematic, and inspiring-remains worthy of attention well into this century.

Dianne Johnson-Feelings is professor of English at the University of South Carolina. She has dedicated her career to recovering the history of African American children's literature. As Dinah Johnson she is author of several picture books including Black Magic and H Is for Harlem. Jonda C. McNair is the Charlotte S. Huck Endowed Professor of Children's Literature at The Ohio State University. She specializes in childen's books written by and about African Americans. McNair served as chair of the 2021 John Newbery Award Selection Committee and as a past chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee.

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