Apartheid and Racism in South African Children's Literature 1985-1995
Routledge – 2002 – 172 pages
While white racism has global dimensions, it has an unshakeable lease on life in South African political organizations and its educational system. Donnarae MacCann and Yulisa Maddy here provide a thorough and provocative analysis of South African children's literature during the key decade around Nelson Mandela's release from prison. Their research demonstrates that the literature of this period was derived from the same milieu -- intellectual, educational, religious, political, and economic -- that brought white supremacy to South Africa during colonial times. This volume is a signal contribution to the study of children's literature and its relation to racism and social conditions.
"Also authors of African Images in Juvenile Literature: Commentaries on Neocolonialist Fiction (1996), MacCann and Maddy outline the white-supremacist mythology pervading South African literature for the young by offering brief readings that reveals how novels foster the beliefs that maintained apartheid. They argue that white novelists demean blacks through characterization and by omission or misrepresentation of oppressive social institutions. . The authors' polemical analyses warn that books shape young minds, so those who care about social justice must evaluate both what novels say and what they omit. All collections." -- R. E. Jones, University of Alberta in CHOICE, June 2002.
Donnarae McCann is Visiting Professor of African-American World Studies at the University of Iowa. She is the author of White Supremacy in Children's Literature, African Images in Juvenile Literature, and The Black American in Books for Children: Readings in Racism.
Yluisa Amadu Maddy is Visiting Assistant Professor of African-American World Studies at the University of Iowa.