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"Rifles for Watie": Rollins, Riley, and Racism

Holly G. Willett
Libraries & Culture
Vol. 36, No. 4 (Fall, 2001), pp. 487-505
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25548951
Page Count: 19
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"Rifles for Watie": Rollins, Riley, and Racism
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Abstract

In the pre-civil rights era, the depiction of African Americans in children's literature became an area of discussion among librarians, publishers, and authors. Charlemae Hill Rollins, a prominent African American librarian, recommended changes in the text of "Rifles for Watie," the winner of the 1958 Newbery Medal, shortly after it had won the award. Most of her suggestions were rejected by the author, but the incident illustrates her critiques of children's books and the ways in which youth librarians attempt to be cultural gatekeepers for young people.

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