Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Check out the Interracial Books for Children Bulletin Archive!

Appalled by the inaccurate representation of marginalized groups, educators from the Mississippi Freedom Schools sought to inform educators, parents, and publishers about the use and selection of children’s books and textbooks. They came together to name and call out the racism, sexism, and injustice that is present in children’s literature and textbooks. They founded The Council on Interracial Books for Children (CIBC) in 1965 on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement.

From page of the Summer 1969 edition of Interracial Books for Children.

In 1966, CIBC published the first issue of the Interracial Books for Children Bulletin (IBCB)

Bulletins provide critical, honest reviews written by educators from the specific group in question. CIBC made a point to advocate and uplift marginalized communities, including African Americans, Latinx, and Indigenous peoples through their journal. Filled with information that allows us to chart not only how far children’s literature has come but also parallels the push for representation today.

Other topics include

  • A study on the preferred term to use when writing about African Americans.
  • Calls for publishers to examine racist content in textbooks.
  • Detailed analysis of what makes a book detrimental to the portrayal of the Black experience.

Where to read IBCB

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, in cooperation with the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, has recently added the complete run of IBCB issues published from 1966-1989.

For a bibliography of books reviewed by IBCB check out ibcbulletin.info. This database was put together by Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, and funded through the American Library Association’s Carnegie-Whitney Grant.

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group, II. Reference and User Services, IV. Knowledge, Curation, and Management of Materials, VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.

Photo of the article author, Sierra McKenzie. Writing on behalf of the Public Awareness Committee is Sierra McKenzie. She is a Library Services Floater at The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in Cincinnati, Ohio. Reach her at sierramckenzieplch@gmail.com

One comment

  1. Jamie Naidoo

    This is exciting! I’m so glad that these have been digitized and made freely available. They are truly a strong foundation for research in diverse US children’s books. Dr. Cooke’s resource is a great companion as well!

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