Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 296–307 | Cite as

“Combing” Through Representations of Black Girls’ Hair in African American Children’s Literature

  • Wanda M. Brooks
  • Jonda C. McNair
Original Paper


In this article, we share findings from a content analysis of six picturebooks about hair. The picturebooks selected feature Black female protagonists and are written by African American females. Our content analysis examines the ways in which Black hair is theorized and represented to children (from diverse backgrounds) very early on in their reading trajectory. We present a discussion of the theoretical perspectives informing our analysis, followed by a review of related African American children’s literary scholarship. We then provide a description of the methodology that includes data sources, analytic procedures, and trustworthiness. Next, we present the findings, in which we delineate the three main themes identified within the six picturebooks. We conclude with reasons as to why this research is significant.


African American children’s literature Black girls Hair Race 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EducationTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Eugene T. Moore School of EducationClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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