The Schubert Center for Child Studies will host Michelle Martin, the Augusta Baker Chair and professor in childhood literacy at the University of South Carolina, for a lecture, titled “Brown Gold: African-American Children’s Literature as a Genre of Resistance.”
Martin will present her talk Thursday, Feb. 18, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Tinkham Veale University Center, ballroom A.
In 1969, Langston Hughes’ Black Misery, a children’s book that speaks candidly about the discrimination and misfortunes that African-American children face daily, was published posthumously. Considered the “fathers” of contemporary African-American children’s literature, Hughes and Arna Bontemps wrote not just for black children, but for all children, and set a precedent of resistance within the genre.
Martin will trace the tradition of resistance in African-American children’s literature, beginning with early publications such as the Brownies’ Book Magazine up through several recent works of African-American children’s and young adult literature. Implications for teaching and creating opportunities for building literacy in childhood and adolescence will be discussed.