African American Illustrators

These artists portray African American children in a realistic way. These children are shown as equals, playing and interacting with their families or with individuals from other backgrounds. Although harmful stereotypes of African Americans were seen in books before and after the Harlem Renaissance, this dissipated over time as the number of creators rose and people were able to publish their books and collaborate with like-minded authors and artists. The difficulty had in finding more illustrators for this exhibit could be a testament to how racism prevented these books from being shown to a wider audience. These images, even those by the same author, can differ in style. These illustrations might have been drawn from experience, or experiences that these artists desired for the future generation.