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What is multicultural literature? • • “multiethnic literature is the literature about a racial or minority ethnic group that is culturally and socially different from the white Anglo Saxon majority in the United States. ” –Ruth Carlson, author Multicultural is “referring to people of color. ” –Merri Lindgren of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Other authors have defined “multicultural” literature by the topics of discussion and the organization of their books. Some consider multicultural literature to include 4 kinds of literature: 1. world literature (non-Western countries) 2. Cross-cultural literature (relations between cultural groups) 3. Minority literature (written by members of a parallel culture that represents their unique experiences as members of that culture). 4. Textbook adds this one: Intersecting cultures: mixed-race or biracial individuals who desire to be identified by their own unique cultural and racial heritage
People of African descent before 1970 s were not portrayed correctly; the lives of people of color were omitted or misrepresented until the early- and mid- 20 th century.
1920: first issue of The Brownies Book published 1909: NAACP founded • 1933: Sterling & Brown: Negro Character as Seen by White Authors 1920 s & 30 s: Harlem Renaissance Included W. E. B. Du. Bois & Ida Wells Barnett • 1936: Willard Walcott Beatty, created bilingual books for Native American children • 1939: Augusta Baker put together a collection of books that presented authentic pictures of African American culture. Timeline of Multicultural Literature • 1965: Elementary & Secondary Education Act- Provided funds for educational services to low-income children • 1954: U. S. Supreme Court. Brown vs. Board of Education- set the stage • 1965: The Council on Interracial Books for Children was founded • 2001: Publishers started paying more attention to multicultural literature. • 1998: Hyperion Books for Children created Jump at the Sun, the first African American imprint
W. E. B. Du. Bois • 1920: The Brownies Book - a magazine intended to help colored children realize that being colored is a normal thing. • Included a “children’s corner” in each issue of a magazine called The Crisis and once a year devoted an issue primarily to children.
Important Multicultural Publications • Negro Character As Seen by White Authors by Sterling A. Brown • Taytay’s (Grandfather) Tales • La Edad de Oro (1889) • Nancy Larrick wrote the article, The All White World of Children’s Books • Zeely by Virginia Hamilton • Stevie by John Steptoe
Multicultural Awards • Coretta Scott King Award- set up by African. American librarians • Pura Belpre Award- for Latino writers and illustrators • Asian Pacific Award for Literature • Hans Christian Anderson Medal • Mildred Batchelder- for the most outstanding translated children’s books
International Literature for Children • At the same time that the need for books about multicultural experience became more widespread an interest in international children’s books was on the rise. – Ex: 1950 Pippi Longstocking by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren • International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)- First general assembly in 1953. • 1967: April 2 - The First International Children’s Book Day
• 2002: The International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) was created; a digital collection of over 10, 000 children's books in at least 100 languages that is readily available on the internet
Evaluating Literature through a Multicultural Lens • • • 1. Diversity and range of representation 2. Avoidance of stereotyping 3. Language Considerations 4. The perspective of the book 5. Quality plot, characters, etc.
1. Who wrote The Brownies Book and what is its significance? 2. Name one multicultural book or publication. 3. Name three of the five criteria to evaluate multicultural literature. 4. Define multicultural literature in your own words. 5. List 3 significant events in the timeline. 6. What is the goal of the ICDL? (International Children’s Digital Library)
Answers 1. W. E. B. Du. Bois; helped colored children realize that being colored is a normal thing; to eliminate feelings of inferiority 2. Zeely; Negro Character as Seen By White Authors; Jump at the Sun; etc. 3. Diversity and range of representation; Avoidance of stereotyping; Language Considerations; The perspective of the book; Quality plot, characters, etc. 4. In your own words 5. Harlem Renaissance, The Brownies’ Book, Brown vs. Board of Education, etc. 6. Books are readily available and easily accessible for children.