“There has never been, in the history of St. Louis, a museum exhibit primarily focused on the history of Black children’s literature,” he says. “It’s important that the public understands the importance of the journey that Black people in this country have taken to be literate.”
The exhibition, titled “The Power of Words: The Ongoing Tale of Black Children’s Literature,” takes visitors through a history of Black literature, beginning with the 1600s and the tradition of oral storytelling. Panels convey information on the Harlem Renaissance, barriers to publishing Black authors’ work and the accomplishments of Black authors of the past and present.
Stephanie Bliss, executive director of the Field House Museum, agrees that this is a first for the metro area in the way the exhibition not only showcases Black authors’ literature but also honors the lives of those influential writers.
“We have their books on display, and not only do we have them on display to look at, but we also have an area where you can sit down and read some of their books,” Bliss details.
Additionally, metro area organizations including Ready Readers, Turn the Page STL and St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature donated books to the museum so that every child who tours the exhibition may take home a piece of Black literature. Bliss says the exhibition appeals to “the young and young at heart,” noting that the exhibit appeals to anyone interested in educating themselves on equality through representation. Anthony agrees that there’s something for everyone, no matter their age or race.
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