Free Within Ourselves: The Development of African American Children's Literature (Hardcover)

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2017 Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

From the ALA: 

Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton.

 Dr. Bishop is a winner of numerous awards and has served as a respected member of many book awards committees over the course of her long and distinguished career. Her influential writing, speaking, and teaching articulates the history and cultural significance of African-American children’s literature. Her globally cited work, “Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors,” has inspired movements for increased diversity in books for young people, and provides the basis for the best multicultural practice and inquiry for students, teachers, writers and publishing houses.

— From 2017 ALA Award Winners Announced


African American children's literature is a vibrant form of expression. Written by a leading authority on the subject, this book overviews the history of African American children's literature from the antebellum South to the present day. The volume places African American children's literature in its social, political, and cultural contexts, discusses its origins in songs and folklore, and examines its importance as a vehicle for promoting respect for the African American heritage. Included are discussions of major authors and illustrators, such as Virginia Hamilton, Walter Dean Myers, and John Steptoe, as well as important genres of children's literature, such as poetry, historical fiction, and picture books. Teachers of children's literature will treasure this book as a convenient overview of this fascinating subject, while students of literature and social studies will value it as a guide to the African American literary achievement and to the treatment of social issues in fiction. The volume also includes a rich selection of picture book illustrations.

About the Author

Rudine Sims Bishop is Professor Emerita of Education at Ohio State University, where she has taught courses on children's literature. Her previous books include Shadow and Substance: Afro-American Experience in Contemporary Children's Fiction (1982), Presenting Walter Dean Myers (1990), Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8 (1994), and Wonders: The Best Children's Poems of Effie Lee Newsome (1999). She has won several awards and has been on the selection committees for both the Caldecott and Newbery Medals.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780313340932
ISBN-10: 0313340935
Publisher: Greenwood
Publication Date: May 1st, 2007
Pages: 295
Language: English