Stepping over the line of segregation – the visual argument of picturebook narratives from the sit-in movement

Authors

  • Ewa Klęczaj-Siara Casimir Pulaski Radom University
  • Chase Anthony Brame Casimir Pulaski Radom University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24136/rsf.2022.004

Keywords:

engaged literature, sit-in movement, African American children’s literature, picturebooks, visual rhetoric, somatic rhetoric, cultural memory

Abstract

Six decades after the historic sit-in movement, the city of Greensboro, North Carolina, once an epicentre of the Civil Rights Movement, still exhibits de facto segregation along racial divides. The division within the city of Greensboro poses a question that many places in the U.S. struggle to answer: how to address a painful history while promoting optimism for the future. This paper advocates for the use of storytelling in children’s picturebooks which have been cited as one of the most effective tools for encouraging social action and promoting positive societal values. The article discusses two picturebooks, Sit-in Movement: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down (2010) and Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins (2007). The analysis of the picturebooks draws on the working strategies of O’Rourke and Pace (2020), including the visual rhetoric of the illustrations, somatic rhetoric, elements of performative studies, and the legacies of the sit-ins.

References

Asen, Robert. “A discourse theory of citizenship.” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 2004, 90:2, 189-211.

Bredekamp, Horst, & Vera Dünkel, Birgit Schneider, eds. The Technical Image: A History of Styles in Scientific Imagery. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015.

Capshaw, Katherine. Civil Rights Childhood: Picturing Liberation in African American Photobooks. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

Chafe, William. Civilities and Civil Rights: Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Struggle for Freedom. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.

Edmonds, Kelton. “60 years ago – students launched a sit-in movement.” The New York Beacon, February 12, 2020. https://newyorkbeacon.com/60-years-ago-students-launched-a-sit-in-movement/ (accessed Nov. 8, 2022)

Hall, Jacqueline Dowd. “The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past.” Journal of American History 91, no. 4 (March 2005): 1233-63.

Kowal, Rebekah J.. “Staging the Greensboro Sit-Ins.” TDR (1988-) 48, no. 4 (2004): 135–54. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4488599 (accessed Nov. 12, 2022)

McCallum, Robyn, & John Stephens. “Ideology and Children’s Books.” Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature, ed. Shelby Wolf, Karen Coats, Patricia Enciso, Christine Jenkins. New York: Routledge, 2011.

Nikolajeva, Maria, & Scott, Carole. How Picturebooks Work. New York and London: Routledge, 2006.

O'Rourke, Sean Patrick, & Lesli K. Pace, eds. Like Wildfire: The Rhetoric of the Civil Rights Sit-Ins. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2020. Ebook.

O'Rourke, Sean Patrick, & Lesli K. Pace, eds. On Fire. Five Civil Rights Sit-Ins and The Rhetoric of Protests. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2021. Ebook.

Patterson, Thom. “After 50 years of racial strife: Why is Greensboro still so tense?” CNN, June 7, 2011. http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/06/07/greensboro.race/index.html (accessed October 10, 2022)

Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Sit-in Movement: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down. Illustrated by Brian Pinkney. New York and Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2010.

Reed, Thomas Vernon. The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Present. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019. Ebook.

Ross, Kendall & Su, Amanda. “Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in remembered by those who witnessed history.” ABC News, July 25, 2022.https://abcnews.go.com/US/woolworths-lunch-counter-sit-remembered-witnessed-history/story?id=87199763 (accessed Nov. 10, 2022)

Thoreau, H. D. (1849). On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.

Weatherford, Carole Boston. Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins. Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue. New York: Puffin Books, 2007.

Wilson, Christopher. “The Moment When Four Students Sat Down to Take a Stand.” Smithsonian Magazine, January 31, 2020. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/lessons-worth-learning-moment-greensboro-four-sat-down-lunch-counter-180974087/ (accessed October 15, 2022).

Downloads

Published

2022-12-31

How to Cite

Klęczaj-Siara, E., & Brame, C. A. (2022). Stepping over the line of segregation – the visual argument of picturebook narratives from the sit-in movement. Radomskie Studia Filologiczne. Radom Philological Studies, 1(11), 64–77. https://doi.org/10.24136/rsf.2022.004

Issue

Section

Articles