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Unearthing a Gem: W.E.B. Du Bois’ “Brownies’ Book” and its Legacy

Collage of LOC images of The Brownies' Book

Hey bestie, it’s your Internet BFF, Kaylannk here! Let’s talk “The Brownies’ Book.” 

In the literary landscape of today, it’s easy to overlook the stories of the past. But amidst the archives of faded pages lies a gem: “The Brownies’ Book.”  

via GIPHY

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A Beacon of Black Brillance: “The Brownies’ Book” was the first magazine published specifically for African American children in the United States. Launched in 1920 by civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, this monthly publication aimed to “teach Universal Love and Brotherhood for all little folk—black and brown and yellow and white”, according to the New York Public Library.

More Than Just A Magazine: More than just a collection of stories, “The Brownies’ Book” was a treasure trove of poetry, history, letters, advice, and photographs. 

A Legacy Lost and Found: While its lifespan was short, lasting only two years, “The Brownies’ Book” left its mark on Black literature. This magazine nourished dreams, validated identities, and paved the way for future publications like “Ebony Jr!”.

Reclaiming the Narrative: In 2023, “The Brownies’ Book” made a return with “The New Brownies’ Book”, an anthology celebrating its legacy and continuing its mission. This new book offers a fresh perspective curated for a new generation, while still reminding us of the power of storytelling and the importance of diverse voices.

Explore more:

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Let’s keep the stories of “The Brownies’ Book” and publications alike alive, because every child deserves to see themselves reflected in the pages they read.

Written with lots of care, 

Kaylannk

Your Internet BFF

 P.S. Will you be buying “The New Brownies’ Book”? Share your response in the comments below!

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