Black British Children's Literature

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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Karen Sands-O'Connor (Buffalo State, SUNY)

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British children’s literature about people of African descent is as old as modern children’s literature itself, both proliferating in the mid-18th century during a period of expanding trade, industrialization, slavery and colonialism that increased incomes and the literacy levels of white Britons, as well as the production of cheaper and more readily available books. However, such children’s literature as existed about Black people was generally written by white, British people—many of whom did not know or regularly interact with Black people at all. During the post-abolition and late 19th-early 20th century British imperial period, children’s literature …

3617 words

Citation: Sands-O'Connor, Karen. "Black British Children's Literature". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 September 2019 [, accessed 06 February 2023.]

19550 Black British Children's Literature 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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