BookTalk: Blues for Black Childhood

Portrait of Roni Gross wearing a log shaped hat
Roni Gross outdoors in a fun hat

Event Info

This event takes place on Monday, December 5 from 6:30–8:00pm via Zoom and livestream on Youtube.

About the Talk:

Join us on Monday, December 5 on Zoom for a BookTalk by Kinohi Nishikawa.

In the civil rights era, Black childhood came to be seen as an index of the perils and promises of America’s struggle to achieve racial equality. The flourishing of trade books by and about Black childhood appealed not only to a mass reading public but also to a liberalizing social order.

Toni Morrison, Gwendolyn Brooks, Clarissa T. Sligh, and Shervone Neckles contest dominant representations of Black childhood with books that challenge the terms of racial integration for young people. In selections of their work from the 1970s to the present day, these Black women writers and artists outline the psychic life of white supremacy and imagine what readers might need to overcome it.

As part of Center for Book Arts ongoing BookTalk series—presentations related to the book arts curated and moderated by CBA Instructor Roni Gross.

About the Presenter:

Kinohi Nishikawa is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at Princeton University. He is the author of Street Players: Black Pulp Fiction and the Making of a Literary Underground (2018) and of essays and book chapters on Black print culture and publishing history. Nishikawa is currently at work on a monograph titled “Black Paratext: Reading African American Literature by Design.”

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