Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

In 1965, the Council on Interracial Books for Children (CIBC) was founded by people involved in the Civil Rights Movement who were "appalled by the racist and sexist treatment of African Americans in the children's trade books and textbooks that were available. They were even more concerned about the lack of more suitable materials" (Banfield, 1998). The group published a newsletter to provide critical essays on children's books and textbooks that were widely used at the time. In 1969, CIBC established a writer's contest, designed to encourage unpublished writers of color to write books for children.

Among the writers they promoted was Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve. Her first book for children was Jimmy Yellow Hawk. She went on to write several works of fiction for children. Three are discussed at length in Jim Charles's article "Interrelated Themes in the Young Adolescent Novels of Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve." His article is in Volume 28, Number 2 of THE ALAN REVIEW, and is on-line here.

Sneve was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. She is Lakota Sioux. You can go here for biographical information about her.

[Note: For more on CIBC, read Beryl Banfield's article, "Commitment to Change: The Council on Interracial Books for Children and the World of Children's Books," in African American Review,Volume 32, No. 1. ]

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