Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Mary Beth Roth


This qualitative, directed content analysis examined fiction and nonfiction children’s literature published between 2015 and 2017. Through the lens of Critical Race Theory, the study describes the ways in which Black characters are represented in early readers. Using books located in community libraries, school media centers and retail outlets, the study concludes that Black characters are represented less frequently and in ways that often do not take into account cultural, political, and legal manifestations of White privilege. This discussion of race, identity, power structures, and education aims to create and promote thought and discussions surrounding the genealogies of racial oppressions. The study is also meant as a challenge to rethink perceptions of race and equality and dignity. As educators charged with balancing the scale of equality and fair practice, there are many questions: Who determines what counts as knowledge? Who represents and who is represented? What stories will be remembered? Whose voices will be heard? Such questions go to the heart of children’s literature and how the history of race and equity is interpreted and validated.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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