By Katharine Capshaw Smith
The Harlem Renaissance inaugurated a practice of African American children’s literature, for the movement’s vital writers made early life either their topic and viewers. W.E.B. Du Bois, Carter G. Woodson, Langston Hughes, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and different Harlem Renaissance figures took an impassioned curiosity within the literary types provided to kids, believing that the "New Negro" might eventually come up from black adolescence. for this reason, African American children’s literature grew to become an important medium in which a disparate neighborhood cast bonds of cultural, monetary, and aesthetic unity. Kate Capshaw Smith explores the period’s full of life alternate concerning the nature and identification of black early life and uncovers the networks of African American philosophers, group activists, schoolteachers, and literary artists who labored jointly to transmit black historical past and tradition to the following iteration.
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Additional resources for Children's Literature of the Harlem Renaissance (Blacks in the Diaspora)
The preparation of children for battle takes several forms within the pages of the Crisis. A secure and edifying domestic sphere, derived from constructions of Victorian households, allows parents to cultivate in their children the inner resources necessary to succeed within a prejudiced society. While Du Bois himself recognized that children were experienced with racial bias, many Crisis writers clung to the protection imagined for their children at home. Du Bois saw the home as a space for preparation, and he employed the ﬂuidity of audience within the Children’s Numbers to oªer multiple layers of education for black children.
For the Crisis publications, sophistication meant the requirement of black child social activism; cross writing became a fundamental approach for connecting the child reader with adult political commitments. The home was the space for building new race leaders, according to the Crisis, and parents took on new responsibilities to their progressive children. Black children’s literature as a genre separate from “adult” literature was born out of this emphasis on the domestic sphere and its political eªects, a holdover from uplift ideology ascendant in the 1890s and the early decades of the twentieth century.
Prejudice and cold white hate: These, my baby, these, thy fate, Little, gentle, trustful thing, Thus, these sobs, the while I sing. (17–24) Although conventional in language and technique, Moten’s speaker articulates her grief about her eventual inability to protect her child from prejudice in frank yet controlled emotion. Signiﬁcantly, the verse appears on the same page as a large photograph of Frederick Douglass III, a child of seven months, which implies that racial hatred awaits children of even the most celebrated and accomplished African American families.
Children's Literature of the Harlem Renaissance (Blacks in the Diaspora) by Katharine Capshaw Smith