Resisting the Master Narrative: Building the Alternative Black Counter-Canon
This chapter will examine the process of “narrative rewriting” of a counter-canon as an essential part of the development of the alternative black curriculum. First, the Chapter will consider the different institutional visions of Carter G. Woodson and W.E.B. Du Bois as they sought to define the contours of the alternative black curriculum. Two periodicals will be presented: The Brownie Book and The Negro History Bulletin. Edited by W.E.B. Du Bois and Jessie Redmon Fauset, The Brownie Book was the first literary magazine targeting African American children. This chapter then examines the career of Leila Amos Pendleton who wrote A Narrative of the Negro (1912), one of the few textbooks written by black women during the Progressive Era. In addition, I will compare the texts Unsung Heroes by Elizabeth Ross Haynes and Missing Pages in American History by Laura Eliza Wilkes as exemplars of books which also challenge narratives in textbooks. Finally, the Chapter will examine the books The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933) and Black Reconstruction (1935) as exemplars of the counter-canon that are embodied in the alternative black curriculum.