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Academic article

Young Adult Literature for Black Lives: Critical and Storytelling Traditions from the African Diaspora

Author:

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

Abstract

Academic criticism of Black African and African diaspora literature, media, and culture for youth and young adults has heretofore been largely out of the hands of scholars of African descent. This mirrors the fact that until recently, and in many cases still, people of African descent have not been in control of our stories, our images, or our presence outside of our own spaces. This reclamatory essay traces traditions of research and criticism of African diaspora young adult literature in four regions (US, UK, Caribbean, Africa), with an emphasis on key scholars and critics as well as notable authors from each area. While most work in the field has centred on United States scholarship and texts, there are promising developments occurring in other regions, from recently shuttered journals such as the Caribbean magazine Anansesem and Sankofa: A Journal of African Children’s and Young Adult Literature, to the REIYL (Researchers Exploring Inclusive Youth Literature) conference in the United Kingdom in 2019. The article concludes with a clarion call to the field, delineating the urgency of supporting further research and criticism by Black and African scholars in the future.

How to Cite: Thomas, E.E., 2020. Young Adult Literature for Black Lives: Critical and Storytelling Traditions from the African Diaspora. The International Journal of Young Adult Literature, 1(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.24877/ijyal.27
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Published on 02 Nov 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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