• “No Rights That Any Body Is Bound to Respect” Pets, Race, and African American Child Readers

    Brigitte Fielder (see profile)
    Readers--African Americans, Children's literature, Periodicals, African American children
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Christian Recorder, Reprinting, African American child readers, African American readers, Reception theory
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    “Taking a liberal approach to the category “African American children’s literature,” I stipulate that the placement and framing of stories in an African American literary context such as the Christian Recorder suggest that they ought to be considered among “African American children’s literature” insomuch as they were read by or to African American children, even if written by white authors. I consider African American child readers by reading the various and sometimes contradictory ways in which dogs and cats appeared in the 1865 Christian Recorder and related texts, and the particular implications of these pet stories for African American children. Discerning how African American children may have understood these stories necessitates reading them in conversation with the larger context of African American literature in addition to within their original contexts of literature framed for (assumedly white) children. It also necessitates acknowledging the racialized content of such stories as perceptible, even for a child audience. African American child readers become more visible when these stories are read keeping in mind the overlap of—rather than the distinction between—literature for children and literature for African Americans.”
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
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