Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2001


The Brownies'Book (January 1920-December 1921) was a groundbreaking but short-lived monthly children's magazine created in part to provide African American children like Annabelle with "colored" fairies. It was the brainchild of W. E. B. DuBois, the only African American founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and since 1910 the managing editor of the NAACP's official organ, Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races. The Brownies' Book grew out of the popular annual "Children's Number" of Crisis, published each October starting in 1912. In this special issue, dozens of photographs of African American children submitted by readers visually framed the usual coverage of political, cultural, and social issues. Each "Children's Number" also included a story explicitly directed to a child audience, either an African folk tale or an original fairy story like the one quoted in the epigraph.


This open access article is also available at http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/childrens_literature/v029/29.kory.pdf. doi: 10.1353/chl.0.0803