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On Zetta Elliott’s “Decolonizing the Imagination” (from 2010)

elliott_birdAuthor and teacher Zetta Elliott contributed “Decolonizing the Imagination” to the Writer’s Page column in the Magazine‘s March/April 2010 issue. As a child and young adult, Zetta loved classic British novels; she notes, however, that she “learned early on that only white children had wonderful adventures in distant lands; only white children were magically transported through time and space; only white children found the buried key that unlocked their own private Eden.” Why, she wonders, was she drawn to these stories that were so different from her own experience:

“Was I an Anglophile in training, or was my taste in books (and music, and clothes) a way of rejecting popular representations of blackness, which fit me just as poorly (if at all)?”

The answers lie in the books she writes now, which open doors into other worlds and let her “contribute to a rich storytelling tradition that celebrates my ancestors’ resilient humanity.”

About Kitty Flynn

Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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