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Black Children’s Literature Got de Blues

The Creativity of Black Writers and Illustrators


Nancy D. Tolson

Here is an innovative exploration of the blues aesthetic that reflects the literary work created by Black authors and illustrators for the Black child reader. This book examines literature written for Black children, using critical and creative writings – by artists, scholars, and critics – that define the blues within Black «adult» literature, poetry, and the visual arts. The book identifies Black children’s literature published in the past forty years by authors and illustrators who can be classified as blues artists, and whose work reflects social, political, economical, and historical developments of the Black experience throughout the United States. Referencing work created by Jacqueline Woodson, Walter Dean Myers, John Steptoe, Tom Feelings, Sherley Anne Williams, and others, this book demonstrates how the blues aesthetic now includes the literature dedicated to Black children.