Institutional Scholarship

With a Sprinkle of Fairy Dust and a Splash of Color: How The Brownies’ Book Embodied the Black Elite’s Integrationist Vision of Racial Uplift and Carved Its Place in the White-Washed World of Children’s Literature

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dc.contributor.advisor Krippner, James
dc.contributor.author Jones, Amanda Ashley
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-01T13:42:31Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-01T13:42:31Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/19393
dc.description.abstract In January 1920, W.E.B. Du Bois, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Augustus Granville Dill – three prominent race activists of the black elite who strove to prove black people’s deservingness of equal rights and fought for racial integration – published the first major periodical released monthly for an audience of black children. Their magazine showcased an exclusively positive, bourgeois image of black people, and provided a counter-balance to the overtly racist imagery found in children’s literature of the period. This study explores the significance of The Brownies’ Book to early 20th century integrationist efforts of racial uplift, while examining how the periodical fit into the era’s predominantly white and racially discriminatory world of children’s literature. Through an in-depth analysis and comparison of the magazine and selected works of mainstream children’s literature from the early 20th century, this thesis argues that The Brownies’ Book embodied black elite integrationists’ vision of racial uplift and emulated works of mainstream children’s literature, particularly in its assimilative socialization of black children with white middleclass ideals, its reproduction of beauty norms in favor of whiteness, and its adoption of the European fairy-tale tradition. This thesis also demonstrates how The Brownies’ Book’s integrationism often clashed with its inherent nationalist goal of empowering black people as a collective and inadvertently disempowered them, an irony explained by black elite integrationists’ internalization of racism, and the consequent development of feelings of black inferiority. The Brownies’ Book is a multifaceted and complex work of children’s literature, and is a historical source that deserves far more scholarly attention than it has been given because it provides invaluable insight on the intersections of race, class, gender, and power still relevant in the present day.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of History
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
dc.title With a Sprinkle of Fairy Dust and a Splash of Color: How The Brownies’ Book Embodied the Black Elite’s Integrationist Vision of Racial Uplift and Carved Its Place in the White-Washed World of Children’s Literature
dc.type Thesis en
dc.rights.access Open Access


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