Much Bigger Than a Hamburger: Disrupting Problematic Picturebook Depictions of the Civil Rights Movement

Noreen Naseem Rodriguez, Amanda Vickery


While more diverse children's literature about youth activism is available than ever before, popular picturebooks often perpetuate problematic tropes about the Civil Rights Movement. In this article, we conduct a critical content analysis of the award-winning picturebook The Youngest Marcher and contrast the book's content to a critical race counterstory of the Movement focused on the collective struggle for justice in the face of racial violence. We argue for the need to engage students in civic media literacy through a critical race lens and offer ways to nuance the limited narratives often found in children's literature.


Children's literature, Civil Rights Movement, counterstory, civic action, social studies

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