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The Tar Baby & the Tomahawk: Racist and Ethnic Images from American Children's Literature, 1880-1939

From the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, The Tar Baby & the Tomahawk is an online collection that investigates "the intersection of race and childhood between 1880 and 1939 as viewed through children's literature, its illustrations, and associated material objects." As the team behind this project notes, this collection may especially be of interest to scholars and instructors of literature, art history, history, and ethnic studies. This collection is best explored through the topics section. Here, visitors can explore four different thematic collections, which include both primary sources and interpretive essays. One collection examines the work of Joel Chandler Harris, the late-nineteenth century folklorist who authored stories featuring the characters Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit. Many critics, including Alice Walker, have criticized Harris for appropriating African-American folklore and perpetuating racist stereotypes. Another collection examines the children's literature authored by black authors during the Harlem Renaissance. Here, visitors can examine works including The Brownies' Book, a children's magazine edited by W.E.B. DuBois. Collectively, this project offers a glimpse into the ways children's literature authors have re-enforced or resisted ideas about race throughout U.S. history.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
February 16th, 2018
Date Of Record Creation
February 12th, 2018 at 2:30pm
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