Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Documentary Editing: Journal of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 32: 2011 ISSN 0196-7134


© 2011 The Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


This article stems from my recent work on Race and Children’s Literature of the Gilded Age (RCLGA),1 a digital archive that aims to provide a heavily annotated resource for scholars and students of literature, history, African American studies, visual communication, and education to examine how adults wanted children to think about race during the era of Jim Crow. I edit the archive with Gerald Early, Professor of Modern letters, English, African studies, and African American studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and D. B. Dowd, Professor of Communication Design and American Culture Studies, also at Washington University. When complete, RCLGA will include literature, illustrations, and popular-culture materials featuring characters of different races primarily intended for a juvenile audience between the end of the Civil War and the publication of The Brownies’ Book, the first American mass-market periodical for minority children, in 1920–1921. In some cases, the authorship of this material is collaborative, corporate, or altogether unknown. What binds the materials together is that they all provide evidence of how popular media marketed to children or families during the period of Jim Crow helped to assert, reinforce, and, occasionally, diminish racial inequity.