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African American Culture

“Children’s books teach children about who is important, who matters, who is even visible.”

-Louise Derman-Sparks, Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books

Cultural authenticity comprises not only the absence of stereotypes but also the presence of values consistent with a particular culture and the accuracy of cultural details in text and illustrations.  There are many books where the characters have brown skin and other physical characteristics associated with African American identity without any cultural information about how the lives of African American children are different from those of other children’s lives.  There is a place for these books certainly, but if those are they only books you share, children may get the message that talk about differences is unacceptable.    The following books portray characters in distinctly African American settings. 

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